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Article: 【Leather Basics】What kind of leather is Hallelujah Leather? Taking vegetable tanning as an example.

【Leather Basics】What kind of leather is Hallelujah Leather? Taking vegetable tanning as an example.

【Leather Basics】What kind of leather is Hallelujah Leather? Taking vegetable tanning as an example.

 
There are many different types of leather products in the world, but what exactly sets them apart?

From vegetable-tanned to chrome-tanned, from cowhide to horsehide, and even eel skin, from oiled leather to pull-up leather, what are the differences in these leathers?

This time, we would like to introduce the features of the leather offered by Hallelujah.

Contents

  • What is Vegetable Tanning?
    • 1.1 Oil-Pull Leather
    • 1.2 Tochigi Leather
    • 1.3 Pueblo Leather
    • 1.4 Vegetable-Tanned Leather
  • 2 Exploring the World of Leather
     

What is Vegetable Tanning?

The "leather" in our hands mostly originates from the "hide" of edible cattle. In Japan, the untreated state is referred to as "hide," and after tanning, it becomes "leather."
The process of making the "hide" soft is called "tanning," a technique invented by humans to prevent leather from decaying and becoming too hard after drying. In modern times, there are mainly two methods: "chrome tanning" using chemicals and "vegetable tanning" using plant tannins.

Tannin is a familiar component found in green tea and astringent persimmons. It binds with proteins to prevent leather decay but also has the property of being susceptible to sunlight.

The change in color of leather products after some use is influenced by this tannin property. On the other hand, chrome tanning lacks this property, allowing leather products to remain unchanged.

The leather types we will introduce next are all tanned using vegetable tanning methods.

Oil-Pull Leather



Mentioning Hallelujah, it is a type of leather used in various products, including the organization wallet "TIDY." The TIDY wallet successfully raised 60 million yen through crowdfunding campaigns both domestically and internationally, supporting products like the all-leather long wallet from Hallelujah.

As for "Pull-up leather," it refers to a type of oil leather that contains oil. It allows the oil to penetrate the core of the leather. When pressed or bent (Pull-up), the internal dye moves along with the oil, creating variations in color on the surface.

Hallelujah's oil-pull leather undergoes vegetable tanning. During the processing, the surface is slightly raised, allowing not only the enjoyment of color changes caused by vegetable tanning but also the appreciation of the leather's changing luster.
 


Additionally, due to the presence of oil, it is more water-resistant than typical cowhide. For minor abrasions, a simple rub with the fingers will cause the internal oil to move, making the scars less noticeable.


In aged leather, Hallelujah's Pull-up Leather is easy to maintain and handle, making it a type of leather that allows you to enjoy the pleasure of change.

Hallelujah's Pull-up Leather is made from cowhide.

Even with the same cowhide, the softness may vary depending on whether it comes from the back or belly of the cow, and it may also have distinctive marks and natural patterns.
 


Each piece of leather has a unique personality, and it develops distinctive changes based on the user's habits, making it a one-of-a-kind leather.


Tochigi Leather



Tochigi Leather is one of Japan's representative tanneries. Although people in Japan might mistakenly think that Tochigi Leather is leather produced in Tochigi Prefecture, in reality, Tochigi Leather is the name of a tannery (leather processing company) and a brand that has been established.

Tochigi Leather undergoes a complex process involving approximately 20 steps, taking several months to complete. It utilizes the time-consuming traditional "pit tanning" method for vegetable tanning.

In this method, leather is sequentially immersed in about 160 pits, requiring several months to complete. Despite taking longer compared to the more popular "drum tanning" method, this approach inflicts less damage to the leather. Through slow immersion, the vegetable tannins penetrate deep into the leather, resulting in a robust and durable material.
 

Hallelujah offers Tochigi Leather in six different colors.
 

Leather that undergoes careful tanning by Hallelujah, allowing the "unique style of leather" to be fully showcased, maintains its quality throughout long-term use.
 

Pueblo Leather



This leather is named "Pueblo Leather," similar in name to the horsehide leather produced by a tannery in Himeji.

Compared to cowhide, horsehide is thinner, lighter, and has greater strength for the same thickness. However, horses are more prone to injuries during their lifetime, limiting the usable parts for leather when pursuing uniformity.

This leather considers the pre-existing scars as one of its unique characteristics, meant to be enjoyed as a "flavor." By dyeing the leather and treating it with oil and wax, the oil creates a pull-up effect, while wax imparts a glossy surface.

Upon initial use, you can feel the pull-up effect and the glossy finish from the wax. Continued use allows you to enjoy the color changes resulting from aging, along with the luster produced by the fusion of wax and oil.
 

Vegetable Tannin Leather



The Mollis series backpack, frame-style long wallet, and belt all use this leather.

Although Vegetable Tannin sounds delicious, in Japanese, it is translated as "植鞣單寧" (Vegetable Tannin).

While most of the leathers offered by Hallelujah are tanned using vegetable tannins, this leather features wrinkles produced by the "空打ち" technique (similar to creases) and a soft, supple texture resulting from the loosening of fibers.



"Indentations on leather" are not patterns originally present on the leather but are expressions created through processes like "空打ち" , "收縮" (shrinkage), "壓印" (embossing), and other treatments."空打ち" refers to the process of loosening and softening the fibers of leather.

The benefit of having indentations on the surface is that it can reduce scratches, making them less noticeable.

"Shrinkage" involves the use of chemicals, "embossing" is a pressing treatment, and "空打ち" is the process of putting leather into a rotating drum for stirring. Each of these methods produces the effect of indentations.

A distinctive feature of indentations produced by "空打ち" is their unevenness. Depending on the density of the leather fibers, the indentations may have an irregular, delicate, or rough appearance.



Exploring the World of Leather in Depth
We delved into the world of vegetable-tanned leather used by Hallelujah.
In addition to introducing vegetable-tanned leather, another renowned tanning method, "chrome tanning," was mentioned.

Chrome tanning is known for its ability to tan large quantities of leather in a short time, and it is said that 80% of leather products currently use chrome tanning.

Compared to vegetable-tanned leather, chrome-tanned leather is softer and allows for more versatile processing. This is why various styles of leather products can be created using this method.

In the next installment, we will introduce leather products made with "chrome tanning."

Thank you for reading this far, and we appreciate it.

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