What's so special about our leather?

It all starts with cows thriving in European fields. European leather is more expensive.
Less barbwire, less density, less scaring.

Preserving authenticity with full grain leather

We offer full grain leather only. Full grain means that we keep the top grain of the hide intact. Not only is it still there, but it is not tampered with. Something you can only afford if your hide comes from a healthy cow that has lived a good life. Below is a side view of our natural leather.

Raw edges all the way

The beauty of quality full grain leather is that you can feature its edges to enhance the artisanal feel of the bag. It also adds character when the patina develops.

Precision is key

Our leather is measured to offer the perfect balance between weigth and durability. When a sufficient thickness is obtained, our leather becomes practically indestructible. Additional thickness would only add undesirable weight to your bag.

The Art of drum vegetable tanned leather

Before it can be worked with, our leather spends 3 weeks in oak drums with vegetable extracts. A slow process during which the Ruitertassen leather gets tamed and tanned naturally, the old fashioned way.

Our Belgian tannery. One of the few in the world specialized in pure 100% vegetal tanning.

100% Chromium free leather

All our leathers for the Heritage collection are sourced from an exclusive Belgian Tannery whose specialty has been to vegetable tan leather since 1873. Our tannery supplied Louis Vuitton with its leathers before teaching Louis Vuitton the art of vegetable tanning. In the tradition of vegetable tanneries, they use mimosa, quebracho and chestnut barks and leave our leather to rest in their drums for over three weeks. A symbiosis between traditional and modern tools means that our tannery is able to respect the stringent European environmental norms and produce leather that is truly chromium free.

24 Hour process

This is how about 85% of the leather in the world looks like after the chrome-tanning process. Called 'wet blue', it is blue because of the chrome they use. This process is faster, cheaper and far more toxic.

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3 Week process

This is how our leather looks like once tanned. The color is natural, caused by vegetable extracts of quebracho, chestnut and mimosa. It is expensive, slow but natural, eco-friendly and efficient.

In the purest tradition, our leather is tanned using mimosa, quebracho and chestnut bark extracts.

Mimosa

Mimosa tanning extract is derived from the bark of the Black Wattle tree. The light color of the mimosa produces a light colored leather, mimosa also improves the finish of the leather minimising grain defects.

Chestnut

After mimosa and quebracho extracts, chestnut extract is the third most important vegetable tannin used for leather production. Chestnut improves the hydrophobic properties of the leather as well as giving an attractive and stable color as chestnut tannins are not lightfast.

Quebracho

Quebracho tannins are extracted from the inner red core of hardwood tree which grows in the region Chaco of in South America. Quebracho tanned leather produces a very durable and robust red-ish leather that will remain sensitive to light and darken with use.

Even the colors are pure.

When you've got nothing to hide nor to correct but you work with pure materials instead, the whole process gets more interesting. When leather is chrome-tanned, the only option left for colors is to spray paint. Here is how we get the final color of the Ruitertassen leather.

VINTAGE LEATHER

Our vintage color comes from our vegetable-tanning process that lasts for three weeks. The brown shade is the result of the action of the Quebracho and Chesnut extracts.
Then the leather is oiled and dryed for two more weeks, adding the darker touch of brown and the distressed effect.

TAN LEATHER

Our natural tan color comes from our vegetable-tanning process that lasts for three weeks. The natural shade is the result of the action of the Mimosa extracts. There is no additionnal coloring treatment applied here. It only gets darker as the patina develops with years and use. Is is the most natural color.

ITALIAN RED LEATHER

Our red color comes from a 3 weeks vegetable-tanning process that takes place in an old Italian tannery. This deep shade is not spray painted like most red bags, otherwise is would be more superficial. It is obtained with red pigments that deeply and slowly penetrates the leather all the way through in mechanical drums.

CLASSIC BLACK LEATHER

Our black shade comes from a 3 weeks vegetable-tanning process that takes place in an old Italian tannery. This beautiful black color is not superficially spray painted like most black bags. It is obtained with black pigments that deeply and slowly penetrate the leather all the way through in mechanical drums.

Why is our leather so different?

  • Our cows come from a privileged environment where they can thrive and live a healthier life.
  • We use full-grain leather cut and measured to offer indestructible features.
  • Our antique tanning process is 100% chrome free and natural. Safe for you and the environnement.
  • Colors are deeper because none of our leathers are spray painted but rather impregnated.