MacKenzie Leather - Our Leather

Characteristics of Vegetable-Tanned Leather

We currently use vegetable-tanned leather from Italy and Spain, all tanned in the traditional methods, with some tanneries going back five generations.

The long and complicated process of vegetable tanning results in a unique product that with time becomes only more gorgeous to touch and look at. The nature of this leather ensures that your purchase will be completely unique, since no two colours are the same. Vegetable tanning gives leather a unique characteristic, gaining character from its wear which gives it that worn charm. The natural ageing does not compromise the resistance of leather, but instead gives it a vintage effect that represents the evidence of owning a natural product.

Pelle Conciata al Vegetale in Toscana

Vegetable-tanned genuine leather absorbs the traces of our life, and it matures without ruining. The natural ageing does not compromise its resistance. It reveals the signs of time and use as the most personal expression of naturalness and truth.

Choosing a product made of Tuscan, vegetable-tanned leather means choosing a one-of-a-kind object that reflects the owner’s lifestyle.

No Italian leather looks like any other. Its peculiar characteristics offer a wide range of possible interpretations in shape and design. Designers can find a material capable of adding value to a project of fashion, and consumers can find a product overcoming fashion and trends, which gains value with the passing of time.

In An Ancient Part of Northern Spain

A family of tanners follow a tradition dating back three generations. Working with full shoulder skins they maintain a legacy that seems timeless. In keeping with this traditional method of tanning, all the skins are vegetable-tanned and finished with oils, thus obtaining a result that speaks for itself.

In a Corner of Tuscany (Italy)

It is in the heart of the incomparable beauty of the Tuscan landscapes, between Pisa and Florence, that the noble art of vegetable tanning is kept alive. A handcraft tradition, as precious as it is ancient, vegetable tanning today represents a fundamental heritage of art and handcraft for Tuscany. Vegetable tanning, known since the Paleolithic era, is a long and articulated process based on ancient recipes and knowledge, handed down from father to son until today.

The hands of master tanners have worked for more than two hundred years to offer a unique and timeless leather. Vegetable tanning allows raw hides to become Genuine Italian and Spanish Vegetable Tanned Leather. In full respect to environment and nature, it is in large wooden drums that the leather is slowly converted to a strong material that can last throughout time. Its a slow transformation, taking up to forty days; a prodigious process combining the use of tannins, new technologies and the passing of time.

Aroma and Powders From Nature

Tannins are extracted from trunks, fruits, leaves and even roots of plants such as chestnut tree with mimosa and Argentinean quebracho. Giving authentic characteristics to leathers, tannins provide unique characteristics, making them immediately recognisable from any other methods of tanning, with qualities including warm and brilliant colours, a soft touch, resistance and the unique aroma of leather.

Our Vegetable-Tanned Leather Selection

Our Soft Hide is made from Italian and Spanish vegetable-tanned leather. It ranges from 1.6 to 2 mm in thickness, making it a lighter and more pliable leather.  Our Saddle Hide is made from Italian vegetable-tanned leather. It ranges from 3.5 to 4 mm in thickness, making it a sturdy and robust leather.

Italian saddle hides
Pig Skin Lining
Italian and Spanish soft hides

Scottish Canvas

The canvas we use with our designs is made with 18 oz waxed cotton, giving it maximum strength and durability. The linings are made from 10 oz lighter-weight waxed canvas. The concept of waxed cotton was originally developed in the early 15th century by sailors. Remnants of these sails were used as capes to withstand the high winds and sea spray, keeping the sailors warm and dry.

In the years that followed, various treatments were applied to cottons in an attempt to find the most effective blend. The combination of densely woven cotton, impregnated with a paraffin-waxed coating proved to be most successful. The beauty of waxed cotton is its durability and longevity. The fabrics are also highly breathable, and the wax adjusts to ambient temperatures to be softer/more breathable in warm weather and stiffer/more wind-proof in cold conditions. Its proofing can be maintained by the end user by applying wax into the surface, keeping it soft, supple and weather-resistant. The densely woven cotton is strong and reliable, while the finish ensures that the fabric looks better with age. The wax naturally picks up marks and creases through use, which add to the character of the fabric itself.

We use canvas primarily for our Gladstone BagsSatchels and Edinburgh Briefcases.

Canvas colours

Cotton lining colours

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