Vegetable Tanning

Vegetable tanning is a process that uses "tannin" to change hide into leather. Tannin is derived from natural products found in plants. Vegetable tanning produces a leather that is:

  • Firm
  • Strong when thick
  • Well suited to carving or molding
  • Non-irritating to skin
  • Non-corrosive to metal


Vegetable tanned leather is one of the more expensive leathers and is frequently found in products such as saddles, shoe soles, and gun leather.

Chrome Tanning

Chrome tanning is a method of tanning that uses chromium sulfate and other compounds to tan the leather. Chrome tanning produces a leather that is:

  • Soft and pliable
  • Strong when thin


Chrome tanned leather is often less expensive than vegetable tanned leather because the tanning process is considerably shorter. Chrome tanned leather is frequently used in items such as clothes, upholstery, gloves, and chaps.