Leather goods with oiled finish

Natural finish for leather goods

Magical properties of vegetable tanned leather

Oiled finish means that leather won’t be dyed, but oiled and waxed. This is the most natural finish for leather goods. These items – with oiled finish – are the ones that allow you to observe the magic of vegetable tanned leather most clearly. How fast or how much does the color and surface of the leather change can’t be predicted, as it depends on the usage, environment and care.

The changes in color happen because of the tannins left into the leather during tanning process. These react in time with environmental elements and the first results could be observed quite soon. Even in our nordic climate (in Estonia) few hours of summer sunshine could give visible difference.

Changes in tone could be also quite well notable when I use lighter dyes for leather. For example yellow turns in time to really nice and interesting light brown (at first).

The changes in color are not the only interesting properties that people find enjoyable. All vegetable tanned leather goods must be worn in. And I see this process as if the leather item tried to please the owner – it will take any shape you force it to take in time, it will soften the parts you use more in time, it will collect all sorts of mementos for you to look at from wherever you two have been visiting, it will starve but still stand for many years even if you won’t care to feed it (wax and sometimes a little oil preferably)…

I”ve heard a saying that only those who have owned a vegetable tanned item understand why they’re so appreciated and the ones who haven’t experienced it yet, won’t really understand it before they get one. And now I have sailed quite far from the heading on this page.

Neither the magical change in color or other properties of vegetable tanned leather aren’t of course inherent only to the goods with natural oiled and/or waxed finish. This sort of finish just allows these properties to shine in full power. And photo on this page is an excellent example of this. Darker knife sheath has been in everyday use for about four years and lighter one has been used for about half a year.

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Krislyn Derkun

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