Tärnsjö Tannery – the story behind our leather

News - Tarnsjo Tannery

We often boast about using vegetable tanned leather from Swedish tannery Tärnsjö, which is located by a lake deep in the Swedish forest, and is the world’s only certified organic tannery.

Before starting my own production, I had absolutely no idea about leather production, how it was produced or what was considered good practice.  After visiting countless vegetable tanneries across Europe, I knew exactly what I wanted, and I found that at Tärnsjö.

A tannery preserves and soften the leather (being an organic material it composes within days if not treated), and this is done with tannins, like the wine, and yes,  hence the name.  Traditionally this was done with the tannins from the mimosa plant (vegetable tanning), but today most tanneries use chrome which gives a more stable and consistent colour, and this is used for most leather products today.  The chrome however is very damaging for the environment and the material has to be recycled as biohazard.

Tärnsjö Tannery, which was founded 140 years ago, still does traditional vegetable tanning, and is the only tannery in the world that is certified as organic.  Their leather has a surface that feels more “alive” and with time it will get even more beautiful with patina. 

Tärnsjö Tannery is very proud of their heritage, and we could not be prouder that they are now part of our Eldvarm story.

All images are from Tärnsjö, and if you want to read more about their tanning, click here.

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