I only use top quality European leather. In the “Tannery David Schmid”, southern German and Austrian hides go through a lengthy natural dyeing process, in which only traditional methods are used.
It took me a long time to find a tannery that I was happy with the quality and only used vegetable dyed processes. They do not use heavy metals to dye the leather. Tannery David Schmid is a family-run tannery in Metzingen that was founded in 1839 and where horse-drawn carts used to be used on a daily basis. They acquired their own turbine to generate electricity in 1988, enabling the town and church to receive electric light. There used to be 23 tanners in Metzingen, today there are only a few surrounded by trade, steel and multinational fashion shops. Due to the fact that they have 125 years of experience in producing vegetable tanned leather, they are able to survive today and produce an excellent natural product. David Schmid’s tannery uses vegetable tanning processes and takes time to finish their products. The hides are all air dried and hand treated, taking almost a month to complete each hide. Their leather is so soft and supple and has an amazingly soothing smell. Often I don’t want to cut and leave the hides in, but the products I make from their leather in my luggage range have an exceptional feel and are as unique as the tanned hides themselves. Due to my love of old-school techniques, I was comfortable surprised to see machinery dating back hundreds of years, old wooden barrels and the chickens and geese roaming the tannery. Lengthy processes are used to add fats and oils to the leather, making it very strong and elastic. The finished leather has a soft, comfortable top finish and smells amazing. They supply me with various strengths of vegetable tanned hides that I use for luggage, bags and related products.
For my wallets and small accessories, which have a warm natural color and finish, I use a 4oz Spanish leather from a quality source and natural vegetable tanned leather from a tannery in Tuscany (one of 20 tanneries in Italy). For belts, I use 9 to 10 ounces of double croupon vegtan, which is sourced from super strong bull hides from Italy that dye very evenly and make exceptional belts.
No harmful chemicals are used in our natural leather – natural products are used to dye and treat our leather!, such as tree bark, leaves and olive leaves.