We are excited to introduce our newest leather color: natural vegetable-tanned. This leather coincides with one of our mantras here at Rustico, which is “leave your mark.” Natural leather starts out as a sort of blank slate on which a unique patina develops based on your individual use.
Natural, Age-Old Process
Vegetable-tanned leather is created using natural tannins and plant-based extracts, such as tree bark, roots, wood, and fruit. This is an ancient technique (this is how Vikings tanned their leather!) unlike the mass production in factories akin to other types of leather. Since plants and trees vary, each resulting hide can also have slight variances in color, tone, and hue.
Vegetable-tanning is environmentally-friendly and more time-consuming than other, modern tanning methods. In fact, only 10% of the world’s leather is produced by means of vegetable-tanning. Our new leather is not only vegetable-tanned, but it is also natural, meaning that no dye is added in during the tanning process. The result is a light-colored, unadulterated hide. This is where you come in.
Good Things Take Time
From high-end fashion to the rugged cowboy life, natural leather appeals to all. For each unique story, this leather provides the blank slate to begin. Natural leather starts out in an antique white color with subtle pink tones, but this is just the beginning. Over time and with your unparalleled use, the leather will develop a rich, golden patina. The sun, dirt, water, and oils from your skin all combine to inevitably create a patina. So, go ahead and use your leather item—bring it along on that upcoming camping trip, the next hiking excursion, or from meeting to meeting. Only the best hides are selected and each item is handcrafted to stand the test of time. We hope you fall in love with the patina that develops and make some wonderful memories along the way!
Will it stay the same color?
Natural leather will change color over time as it develops a patina. It is common for the leather to look “dirty” in the early stages of use before the patina really starts to set in. Since natural leather is light-colored with no dye added, it can take on color from other items it comes in contact with, such as the blue from your jeans. This whole process is the reason we first fell in love with natural leather.
Can it be conditioned?
Yes, it can. If you will be conditioning the leather, please note that it’s best to seamlessly treat the entire leather product with conditioner to ensure color consistency. Once the leather dries, it may appear a bit darker in color. Regular conditioning will slow development of the patina, whereas little to no conditioning will speed up the process.
Does it require maintenance?
A patina does not mean damage. Leather is tough and does withstand time, but here are a few maintenance tips to help keep your item looking tip-top:
- Use a soft cloth or a dry, soft brush for cleaning
- Occasional conditioning (monthly or a few times a year—it’s your call)
- If you are storing the item, store it in a cool place that is free from dust, mold, and water
For the upcoming birthday, anniversary or simple "thank you" gift, our handmade items can now be crafted in this great new leather color. Browse the full collection of nearly 100 items in this natural leather.