J & FJ Baker
Based in Colyton, Devon they are the only remaining oak bark tannery in
England. The site of the factory has been used for tanning leather since
roman times and the process used today has changed little since then.
The hides are soaked in pits of local river water infused with oak bark,
in a process that takes twelve months. At the end of this process the hides
are dried and dressed with oils and waxes this is known as currying.
The resulting leather is beautiful, with exceptional depth of
colour, texture and character.
J & E Sedgwick
Located in Walsall in the West Midlands, their leather is tanned using a
vegetable tan, which is a mixture of tree bark and vegetable roots that are
finely ground and added to the water in the pits. Once dried the hides are
stained to the desired colour and curried by hand with the currier
spending long periods working waxes and oils into the surface. This leather
has a more uniform surface and colour, but due to its hand finishing
still has individuality.
This Swedish tannery has a history going back over 140 years. They
produce natural vegetable tanned leather. Produced in several stages the
hides are first placed in rotating drums with lime for several days.
The hides are next treated with a special enzyme lowering their pH level,
then the tanning itself begins using a combination of tanning agents
specifically developed for its leather type. Once tanned the leather
is pressed and the lost fats replaced in a heated fatting mill. The
leather is now dried and placed back in the rotating mill tumbling the
hides against each other thereby making the leather soft and supple.