Vegetable Tanning is method of hide tanning which utilizes materials from organic materials such as bark instead of the traditional chemicals.
Vegetable tanned leather has greater body and firmness than traditionally-tanned leather.
The Hides we use to make whips is Vegetable Tanned by Packer Leather in Brisbane.
Vegetable tanning uses the tannin from bark & leaves (this is the origin of the name of the process).
The tannins (a class of polyphenol astringent chemical) occur naturally in the bark and leaves of many plants.
Tannins bind to the collagen proteins in the hide and coat them causing them to become less water-soluble, and more resistant to bacterial attack.
The process also causes the hide to become more flexible.
During the tanning process, hides are stretched on frames and immersed for several weeks in vats of increasing concentrations of tannin.