OUR LEATHERS

Why our leathers are so special?

In Spain, we use ultra premium full grain vegetable-tanned bovine leathers from free-range adult Spanish cows. These leathers are truly a by-product from the meat industry and are vegetable-tanned in Spain using natural tannins and sustainable processes.

In Portugal, we use the same premium leathers from free-range adult Spanish cows that are milled, grainy, metal-free bio leather tanned using natural tannins and sustainable processes.

These methods include purifying water waste so it is reusable for future tanning without inflicting damage to the surrounding waterways and leather residue dust being reused by local farmers as a fertilizer for their crops.

TYPES OF LEATHER

Split leather

The lowest grade and parts of the hide, embossed with a grain pattern to hide the many scars and markings.

 

Top grain leather

Quality leather. The hides are buffed and sometimes sanded. Usually embossed with patterns, such as crocodile, snake. Many of the leading luxury brands use, for example, the saffiano pattern, to create a certain aesthetic.

 

Full grain leather

The best quality, the highest grade, difficult to obtain and most expensive. The top layer of our hide is smooth without many marks or scars, so no need for buffing or sanding. Durable and looks very natural. We use full grain leather for all of our luxury leather products.

LEATHER TANNING

 

Chrome tanning

The most common and controversial. Effective, fast and cheap. Ready within 1 or 2 days. Chromium, PCP and other chemicals are applied, hazardous to our health and environment.  Widely used outside Europe. Chrome tanning in Europe is safer and is strictly controlled by the REACH compliance and EU regulations since 2006. However, we oppose this tanning method and will not use it due to its lifecycle properties and the impact large scale chrome mining has on the environment.

 

Aldehyde tanning

Chromium free tanning also called white washing. The process takes some time and its raw appearance is pale, almost white. Many chemicals are used and the drums of the tannery must be strictly controlled to get the best and constant end result. We don’t use this type of tanning due to its cocktail of metallic chemicals used in the tanning process, which could include the highly toxic formaldehyde or other metallic chemicals.

 

Belcouro | Metal-free tanning

Our leather

A process similar to aldehyde tanning but without the metallic chemicals. This biodegradable leather is tanned with extracted natural tannins including Mimosa, Acacia, Quebracho, polymers and a modified glutaric aldehyde. The advantage is that Belcouro leather is not only biodegradable but the waste material that occurs during the tanning process is compostable and is used as fertilizers for agricultural uses.

We exclusively work with one award winning Portuguese tannery, providing us with our premium quality full grain, milled bio leather.

 

Vegetable tanning

Our leather

An almost artisan process of tanning using vegetable and bark tannins, that have organic acids found naturally in some plant species, barks, branches and leaves. The raw hides are placed in barrels with the tannins for weeks. Executed by experienced, skilled and increasingly harder to find specialists. Colors and textures have a more natural and organic look. Good durability and strength.

If maintained correctly can last for generations. Vegetable tanned leathers develop a beautiful patina over time. We exclusively work with one award winning Spanish tannery, providing us with our premium quality full grain, smooth vegetable tanned leather.