vegetable tanned 1st grade leather – made by hand the old way

I use only the best quality first grade European leather, at the tannery “Gerberei David Schmid” south German and Austrian hides undergo a lengthy natural dying process where only traditional methods are implemented.

Hides being hung up to dry in the tannery David Schmid

I took a long time to find a tannery that I was satisfied with the quality and that they worked with only vegetable dyed processes, not using heavy metals to dye the leather. Gerberei David Schmid is a family owned tannery in Metzingen which was founded back in 1839 where horse and cart were used on a daily process, they aquired their own turbine to generate electricity in 1988 and also supplied the town and church with electric light. There used to be 23 tanners in Metzingen, now there are only a few and are surrounded by commerce and steel and multinational fashion outlets. But due to the fact that they have 125 years experience in making vegetable tanned leather they are able to survive today and produce an excellent natural product. David Schmid tanners use vegetable tanning processes and take time to finish their products, the hides are all air dried, and treated by hand taking almost a month for each skin. Their leather is so soft and supple and has an amazingly comforting smell, often I do not want to cut the hides and leave them pure but the products I produce in my lugagge range from their leather have an exceptional feel to them and are as unique as the tanned skins themselves. Due to my love of old school techniques , I was pleasantly surprised to see machines that dated back hundreds of years, old wooden drums and the chickens and geese wandering around the tannery. Lengthy processes are used to add fat and oils to the leather making it very strong, elastic and with a soft comfortable finish and smell. They supply me with various thicknesses of vegetable tanned hides which I use for small premium leather accessories and luggage, bags and related products..

updn uses a 4oz Spanish leather from a quality source  and natural vegtan leather from a tannery in Tuscany ( one of 20 guilted vegetable tanners in Italy ) for my wallets and small accessories, which has a warm natural colour and finish and is perfect for tooling for thoose little extra effects. For belts I use 9oz to 10oz double croupon vegtan which comes from super strong bull hides from Italy which dye very evenly and makes exceptional belts.

There are no harmful chemicals used in our blank natural leather – natural products are used to dye and treat our leather!

hand dying and treating blank leather in my workshop in Harlaching, Munich

Leather etui hand sewn with a traditional saddlers stitch

check out some of our latest updn leather goods here

Updn leathergoods shield
vegtanned leather

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