We've specially developed the best vegetable-tanned leather.
We use completely natural and uncorrected leather, resulting in an extremely time-consuming cutting process.
Click the numbers on the hide of leather below to learn more about our "Origins" vegetable-tanned leather.
Tears happen when the hide is being stretched
A deep cut in the cow that has left a scar. Each one is avoided in the cutting process because it is a weak area of the hide prone to ripping and typically in an undesirable area to see.
Flea & Tick Bites
These look like freckles on the hide - small darker brown dots that we tend to avoid when cutting the patterns but also add an element of uniqueness to the individual cut.
A large hole in the leather needs to be avoided when cutting patterns.
A technique for marking livestock to identify its owner. This prevents the cow from getting lost or stolen and is typically found on the backside of the cow.
Fat wrinkles develop and are visible along the neck line, under the belly, around the legs and under arms. They show a large pebble texture and long lines where the fat creases used to be. We use this section of the leather for bottoms and liner leather.
For months at a time the hides are left to soak in tanning pits dug into the ground and filled with specially prepared mixtures of organic elements. The best of these stiff, dried-out and uncolored hides are set aside for our use. From this so-called "crust leather," we re-select and grade the skins based on thickness and character. At this point, the hides are carefully placed by hand into wooden drums with our exclusive blend of bark extracts, fat liquors and organic dyes. The drums rotate slowly and are carefully monitored for hours until the color is struck through the entire thickness and the moisture level is balanced throughout the hide.
Each batch and color reacts differently. In order to achieve the character we desire, no set timetable can be held. The master tanner must process each drum individually and the cycle is complete only when, in his estimation, perfection in color and texture has been achieved. As the hides are carefully removed for drying, we see the remarkable transfor-
This is a slow process dependent on the skill and artistry of passionate and committed tanners. It is the careful attention of dedicated tanners and their refusal to compromise on materials and the time necessary to achieve the desired result that differentiates our vegetable-tanned leather from all other leathers available in this specialized market.
Instead of peeling and cracking as painted chromium tanned leathers do, Origins leather develops its own patina, changing gradually in appearance and taking on the character of its user over time. The scars, scratches, veins and wrinkles that give each piece in our collection its unique character have not been sanded down or buffed. We specifically chose not to cover minor imperfections with paint sealers or artificial finishes, using only clear dyes in a range of colors that enhance rather than conceal the beautiful character of our leather.
It takes time, skill and dedication to achieve outstanding results in any natural material; every hide must be treated as an individual project.
Why our cutting is superior.
What we do differently.
Because we use whole cuts of leather instead of smaller panels pieced together, we must cut much larger than what one thinks. On an uncorrected hide, that is very difficult to do. Tears, brands, and bites are just a few of the likely culprits that can mar a hide. We are able to only use parts of the hide that are defect free. Our New England Yankee ethic employs us to use all those defect free parts to ensure that nothing of use is wasted.
Each hide, of course, has a particular use and purpose and must be carefully analyzed and classified. There are two types of grain - close or pebble - and they define the aesthetic. The neck and shoulder sections provide the structure and durability of the good. Thinner sections may be used for inside pockets or interior linings, provided they are split to the appropriate thickness.
Being meticulous and thorough is not a luxury but a necessity. The way a Lotuff leather good is cut defines the character and shapes the intangible quality of it.
The cutting and preparing by hand - what we call the bench work - are our greatest manufacturing bottlenecks. This is what differentiates us from the typical manufacturing process. We continue to use uniquely skilled workers for this process and, in turn, are teaching new ones so that we can birth and nurture a new generation of American craftsmen.