Quality encapsulates the careful selection of materials, meticulous craftsmanship, and the adherence to time-honoured processes, all designed to produce a durable and aesthetically pleasing product that will stand the test of time.
Quality is one of the two crucial determinants for certification in our organization, the other being Sustainability.
Our organization has established four objective criteria for evaluating the quality of vegetable-tanned leather. Each criterion must be met before the product can advance to the next stage of the certification process:
Type and Source of Raw Hides
Only hides sourced from Bos Taurus cattle raised in France, Italy, Switzerland, or Austria are accepted. These regions are chosen due to their favourable climates that contribute to superior hide quality.
The hides from Bos Taurus cattle in these locales benefit from the temperate weather and ample grazing grounds, which result in a consistent hide thickness and minimal blemishes. The cattle are typically raised on small farms where they have substantial space to roam, ensuring not only the well-being of the animals but also contributing to the durability and aesthetic quality of the leather. The tanning process for these hides is also rigorously controlled, adhering to strict European standards for environmental safety and sustainability. Each hide is carefully selected, with full traceability from farm to final product, to ensure that only the highest quality leather is used for manufacturing luxury goods. This traceability is not just a mark of quality but also an assurance of ethical sourcing.
The leather must be full-grain, meaning it contains the uppermost layer of the hide. This layer maintains the complete structure of the animal’s skin cells, which is renowned for its durability, breathability, and strength.
The uppermost layer of the hide, full-grain retains its natural grain, which includes inherent imperfections and texture, signifying its authenticity and excellence. This premium leather type is sought after for its remarkable ability to acquire a patina over time—a testimony to its life and experiences—which gracefully enhances its appearance and value. Full-grain leather is synonymous with luxury, preferred for crafting goods where sophistication meets toughness, such as in high-end footwear, bespoke upholstery, and heirloom-quality handbags. It is not merely a material but an investment; with meticulous care, full-grain leather goods transcend mere accessories to become storied treasures, growing more splendid and characterful with every passing year.
TRADITIONAL ITALIAN ARTISANAL TANNING
The leather must undergo a centuries-old traditional Italian artisanal vegetable tanning process that adheres to our strict technical requirements. This process not only preserves the leather’s natural qualities but also imbues it with the rich legacy of Italian craftsmanship, thereby enhancing its inherent value.
The tanning method involves a meticulous selection of raw hides, followed by a slow and gentle transformation using tannins extracted from tree barks and plants. This organic procedure is eco-friendly and ensures the leather remains hypoallergenic. Each piece of leather is treated with the utmost care, soaking in vats for several weeks where the tannins penetrate deeply to create a durable and resilient material. As the hides are tanned, they take on a unique patina that grows more lustrous with time, reflecting the individual character of each artisan’s touch. The result is a product that not only stands the test of time but also tells a story of heritage and artistry that is woven into every fiber.
The finished product must exhibit high durability, flexibility, and resistance to surface scratches. These characteristics are essential, as they enable the leather to mature gracefully over time, leading to the development of a unique patina.
Additionally, the product should maintain its structural integrity even under varying conditions of use, showcasing a robustness that is particularly crucial for daily wear items. The leather’s ability to withstand different weather conditions without significant degradation is a testament to its quality and craftsmanship. This resilience, paired with an elegant aging process, should give the leather an appealing aesthetic that enhances with use, embodying a blend of timeless elegance and practical longevity.