The ageing process of natural vegetable tanned leather


Take a close look at a genuine leather product, and you’ll find a story waiting patiently to be discovered. Those wrinkles? Each one tells a tale. That scratch? A sign of adventure, of secret escapades. As a leather product ages, it develops a patina unique to its owner’s touch, adopting a distinctive character depending on how and where it is used.

Natural vegetable tanned leather is no different – in fact, this type of leather is famous for its particularly striking ageing process. As it matures and interacts with its environment, its colour gradually deepens … darkening the more it is exposed to sunlight. This beautiful, organic weathering process is packed with charm and intrigue. Join us as we delve into the ageing process of natural vegetable tanned leather, exploring the secrets of its evolution …

ageing process of natural vegetable tanned leather

A blank canvas

Treated only with olive oil and custom made conditioner, the original colouration of natural vegetable tanned leather is not far from that of the natural hide. This means that a vegetable tanned leather product begins life as a blank canvas, whose beauty evolves as soon as you start to use it. Usually a very pale caramel colour to begin with, this starts to change with every touch. How it darkens depends on a whole host of things: the amount of sunlight it’s exposed to, whether it’s exposed to water, dirt, dust, or the natural oils of your skin, and whether you apply a leather conditioner to it. Leather absorbs everything, so the more you use your product, the darker it will become.

Don’t be scared of the inevitable scratches and scuffs that develop on your product through natural use. These are all part of the leather’s unique patina, reflecting the experiences you’ve enjoyed and adventures you’ve been on. 

Good things come to those who wait

The ageing process of leather of course takes time. But as thanks for your patience, you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous patina that makes your product one-of-a-kind. Patina development depends on what type of product you have and how you use it – a small, natural vegetable tanned leather wallet may age much more quickly than a large leather bag that isn’t used and handled as much.

Patina development may be a natural chain of alterations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t intervene slightly to speed up the ageing process if you’re inpatient to see results. For example, leather tans just like us, so more exposure to the sun will darken your leather.

Be sure to use a high-quality, chemical-free leather conditioner on your product to keep it looking healthy though. Similarly, just like the pressure of everyday life can sometimes leave us looking a little weathered, leather is no different. So, embrace your product - don’t just leave it on the side to look at. Really exaggerate its use to kick-start the perfect patina. 

Celebrate the ageing process

We believe that the ageing process of natural vegetable tanned leather is to be celebrated and honoured. Every alteration adds to the beauty of your product, every touch makes it more unique. There’s nothing quite like the charm of aged leather, packed with charisma and rich in intrigue.

 If you’re the proud owner of any of our natural vegetable tanned leather products like The Longshore or The Ebb, we’d love to see how they have aged since you purchased them. Share your photos on social media and tell us how you’ve earned your patina! 


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