Experimental investigations

Excellence in vegetable tanned leathers

Vegetable tanned leathers are used by the most famous Italian fashion designers and are appreciated by a growing number of consumers. The high quality of these leathers is supported by numerous surveys promoted by scientific institutions, economic entities, universities and producer organizations committed to the global expansion and key benefits of the important title “Made in Italy”.

The results of two recent investigations requested by the Genuine Italian Leather Consortium and the Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium are very significant in this respect.

The first survey, sponsored by the Consortium Vero Cuoio, was conducted at the Experimental Station for the Hide and Tanning Material Industry in relation to the analytical requirements foreseen by standard UNI 10594 and concerned quality characteristics of product samples (sole leathers) produced by 15 associated company. The results obtained during the tests showed values that were higher than the quality standards already set in place by UNI. The tests showed that vegetable tanned sole leathers produced by the Consortium's member companies had characteristics of excellence that stood out in comparison to other materials. The properties that were exceptionally in the quality of footwear and the well-being of feet were the following: malleability, a constancy of temperature, high cracking index, excellent water absorption-desorption indices and duration over time (www.cuoioditoscana.it).

The second survey, setting out to prove the sensitizing power of vegetable tanned leathers, was performed by the “Italian Society of Allergological, Environmental and Occupational Dermatology” (SIDAPA) at the request of the Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium (26 associated tanneries). The survey involved a national sample consisting of 563 persons (202 males and 361 females, aged between 6 to 90 years old and with an average age of 44 years), who were put in contact with vacchetta type leather and vegetable tanned leather using chestnut, quebracho and Tara extracts. The result was significant: there were only three cases of allergic reaction to the vacchetta leathers (0.5%), one to Tara tanned leathers (0.18%) and no reactions in the cases of the chestnut and quebracho tanned leathers, the best selling products among the vegetable tannins produced by Silvateam (www.pellealvegetale.it).