The tanning of leather to preserve the hides is considered to be one of man oldest activities and is impossible to date precisely. The hides removed from livestock or game were always used for shelter or protection from the cold taking advantage of their natural water-resistant and temperature insulation qualities. However in the heat they would rot, they would stiffen in the cold and collapse over time from decomposition. The earliest techniques are thought to include smoking and rubbing of animal fats into the hide.
Birth of Vegetable or Bark Tanning
The techniques now known as vegetable or bark tanning are thought to have originated in a small Egyptian town of Gebelein south of Thebes on the Nile river. An important step in mankind's technological development, tanning produces a durable multipurpose material that was used from everything ranging from protective armor to the bindings for books. This technique was expanded throughout the middle eastern civilization and also to ancient Greece and Rome, the slow road that eventually lead to it's perfection in the height of the Medieval Italian Renaissance.
Italian Leather from Tuscany and Le Marche
The exiting, progressive and dynamic mercantile city-state period in Medieval Italy was the perfect environment for the leather tanning industry to explode. Guilds were formed to protect the secret techniques used to produce quality leathers unrivaled elsewhere in the world. These techniques are still closely protected family secrets, handed down from generation to generation in the areas the world's best hides have been produced for over half a millennia. Today Italy accounts for around 16% of world leather production and over two-thirds of all leather produced in Europe. All of our leather is sourced from the 'Golden Triangle' of leather production in Tuscany, or from the equality reputable and respected production areas in the neighboring Marche region.