Tanning affects drying out a hide by extracting any water molecules. In order to restore moisture and flexibility in the leather, leather craftsmen will use a mineral or vegetable tanning technique.
Mineral Tanning - Chrome Tanning
Mineral tanning is the most efficient technique for tanning. This process was invented to increase leather production as it only takes one day to finish the tanning process. The effect is leather that will retain its color throughout its lifespan.
In comparison, vegetable tanning is a natural process that uses only natural tannins. Leather tints are created from naturally occurring tannins in oak, chestnut, or mimosa trees. This process has been around for centuries and was first used by ancient craftsmen. Vegetable tanning can take anywhere from 30-60 days to produce. Because of the lengthened production period, vegetable-tanned leather is often more costly. However, vegetable-tanned leather is highly long-lasting and aesthetically engaging. Natural leather patinas change appearance as they’re exposed to the elements.