Tannins for leather making

Natural is in fashion

Vegetable tanning is today’s most classic, traditional and recognizable technique compared to other types of tanning. It is the only method that can impart unique properties to leather and respects the environment. Vegetable tanned leathers combine comfort, beauty, fashion, versatility, and uniqueness.

The texture and smell of leather produced using plant based extracts are natural. The leathers are produced by skilled craftsmen blending the best extracts with selected natural oils and fatliquors, the smell becomes a perfume for leather lovers. Bags, rugs, briefcases, belts, chairs, boots and saddles are a few of the things made by using all natural extracts.

Like all natural things, leathers which are produced using natural vegetable extracts have their own life. Vegetable tanned leathers are not the same for their entire life but change continuously for the better. When the leather is brand new the color is bright and has a warm touch and a good feeling. Leathers tanned with these extracts slightly change their appearance after a period of wear and aging, they become less bright while maintaining a warm and silky touch.

Plant-based extracts and tanning

The term tannin was used the first time in 1796 to indicate a substance present in vegetable extracts capable of forming insoluble complexes with proteins of animal skin by preventing the action of proteolytic enzymes that could affect the physical condition of the skin. This process has been practiced over the years more and more frequently so that it is the basic tanning principle for the production of sole leathers. Tannins are gathered from many types of trees and plants and can be present either in bark, leaves, wood or even in fruits and roots. Only tannins are able to give tanned leather these unique characteristics that make them so special and so easily distinguishable. The “smell of leather” for example, is something typical and unique conferring distinctive characteristics.

In today’s tanning process, craftsmen use vegetable tannins in both liquid and powder form. From the chestnut wood, the most famous and ancient extract is obtained. Equally common in vegetable tanning is the quebracho extract obtained from the wood of a tree that grows primarily in Argentina: this extract gives the leather a special reddish color and an unmistakable warm touch and a bright appearance.

In addition to chestnut and quebracho extracts, Tara tannins are mainly used in automotive upholstery. Gambier extracts are mainly used for full grain and fine valuable articles. Finally, myrobalan extracts produce leathers with a uniform color and a soft touch.

Product name Description Physical status Tannins content (%)* Humidity (%) pH (6.9°Bè)
Chestnut N Astringent chestnut extract Powder / Liquid 76 ± 1.0 Max 8 3.5 ± 0.3
Chestnut  N2 Astringent chestnut extract Powder 76 ± 1.0 Max 8 3.5 ± 0.3
Dulcotan RN Sweetened chestnut extract Powder 72 ± 1.0 Max 8 4.5 ± 0.2
Dulcotan Special Sweetened chestnut extract Powder 72 ± 1.0  Max 8 4.5 ± 0.2
Indusol ATO Cold soluble ordinary quebracho extract  Powder 72 ± 1.5 Max 8 4.7 ± 0.3
Indusol ATG Cold soluble quebracho extract Powder 72 ± 1.5 Max 8 4.6 ± 0.3
Indusol ATS Partly soluble quebracho extract Powder 72 ± 1.5 Max 8 4.6 ± 0.3
Indusol ATD Partly soluble quebracho extract Powder 72 ± 1.5 Max 8 4.4 ± 0.3
Ormotan T Tara tannin Powder Min 48 Max 13 3.4 ± 0.4
Tara Extra Liquid Tara tannin Liquid Min 27 Max 60 4.0 ± 0.3
Gambier CM Gambier extract  Powder Min 50 Max 12 4.6 ± 0.3
Gambier Purified Liq. Gambier extract Liquid Min 28 Max 65 3.8 ± 0.3
Myrobalan Myrobalan extract Powder Min 70 Max 8 3.4 ± 0.3

* The tannin content is carried out using the Filter method.