Leather Types Intro
At basader, all of our leather bags are made using only the finest, US sourced full-grain leather. And to understand the differences between our leather product offerings, we put together the following explanation.
Bridle leather is full grain vegetable-tanned leather with additional finishes. Originally developed for equestrian bridles and riding gear, bridle leather is infused with copious amounts of waxes and oils to stand up to rough outdoor use and horse sweat. And today, because of the reasons below, it’s a very top-of-the-line option for bags.
Waxes prevent the penetration of dye, so bridle leather comes pre-dyed. Only available in a limited number of natural color tones, the dye is usually applied with an industrial drum-dyeing process by tumbling the hides with dyes in a drum. Both the grain side and flesh side are treated with dyes, oils, and waxes, for a smooth, comfortable feel. Again, these qualities make “Bridle” perfect for bags.
Oil-pull Up Leather
Oil-pull up is a fascinating material. Colored using aniline dyes that render the leather more supple, it is then imbued with waxes and oils. The result is a highly durable material that gets its name for the “pulling effect” — when stretched, the oils and waxes disperse, and the leather appears to get lighter. While this might sound like a fragile leather type that couldn’t handle much abuse, the beauty of oil-pull is its inherent resiliency. When scuffed, scratched or stretched, a damp cloth and a little elbow grease will remove even the most severe of blemishes — even deep scratches (read this post if you’re curious to learn just how much abuse it will take).
Veg-tan simply refers to leather that has been tanned using tannins, vegetable matter, tree bark, and a host of other natural materials (leaves, bark, fruits, roots, even nuts). Because of this, the leather starts out light tan in color, and when left un-dyed, sun exposure will slowly darken this leather type to a rich medium brown color. Leather connoisseurs love that this leather type patinas over time.
Veg-tan can be further processed into different leather types, like bridle leather.
Dyed Veg-tan Leather
Not really a unique leather type as much as a basader offering. Our dyed veg-tan leather is simply vegetable tanned leather that we then dye by hand. Our staple color is Admiral Blue, however we often take on custom colors as well. This can be a fun process as we can mix our own unique colors, and make something truly bespoke, in a color that is rarely seen in vegetable tanned leather. This leather will slightly darken with age, but the color will essentially remain the same over time. Dyeing veg-tan leather is an extremely laborious task, but we think it’s all worth it as the result of the leather is stunningly beautiful with a lustrous sheen.
Want to learn more? Read about our leather color options.
Above, we detail the types of leather we use in our production. But if you’re looking for a higher level perspective (full-grain v. top-grain) see our blog post regarding leather types.