This post puts everything we’ve discussed about leather on this blog all together into one tidy infographic: this is the leather we use at Walnut Studiolo. We think it’s the best, and we’re proud of it.

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Once a cowhide is preserved for long life through tanning, the tannery can choose to apply any number of finishing treatments to it to change, enhance, or obscure its look, feel, or durability — or not, because natural leathers can be finished in the workshop.

The finishing process is where much of the confusion between leathers come from. Many of the treatments are done to obscure the actual quality of the leather. Some finishing treatments provide useful shortcuts for those in the workshops and factories making products out of leather.

In this post, we walk through some of the finishing options, including coloring, coatings, and waxes. And we’ll talk about why we do it the hard way, finishing our full grain vegetable-tanned cowhide by hand in the workshop.

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In this post we’ll review the various kinds of animal leathers and leather alternatives before we focus on the one we use, cowhide.

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More than once, we’ve been surprised to find how little information there is about leather – as broadly diverse a natural material as fabric or wood. We can’t wait to tell you more about it. What would you like to know?

We’re writing a free educational series. Help us write about what’s most interesting to you, by filling out this brief, one-question Google poll: Continue reading