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Shop 53 rue Saint André des Arts, Paris 6th - Email: Hello@charlie-paris.com - Tel: 0967411237

Store 53 rue Saint André des Arts, Paris 6th - Email: Hello@charlie-paris.com - Tel: 0967411237

Vegetable tanning vs chrome tanning: pros and cons

Vegetable tanning and mineral tanning, what are the differences?For more than half of our watch strapsas well as for all our leather goods we use vegetable tanned leather. This process, although ancestral, is still unknown to the general public, but fear notCharlie Paris is here to explain how to obtain this type of leather.

  1. But what is vegetable tanning?
  2. What about chrome tanning?


1. But what is vegetable tanning?

Tanning is the process that transforms animal hides into soft, durable, rot-proof and water-resistant leathers. Vegetable tanning is the first method of tanning used by men, since the Middle Ages this process was widely used.

Before being tanned, the skin undergoes some alteration. It is first salted or dried in order to be preserved. The latter is then rehydrated and peeled to remove hair and tissue under the skin. The skin is finally ready to be tanned! So that the skin turns into leather, the latter is immersed in large tanks saturated with tannin. The vegetable tanning process therefore uses tannins; they are substances of organic origin present in the bark, sap, leaves and roots of plants. In contact with animal skin, these tanning agents transform it into leather.

The now tanned leather undergoes 2 more stages, wringing and finishing which allow the desired thickness and finish of the leather to be obtained depending on its future use. We recommend that you clean your leather strap to take the best possible care of it.

While the process could last for several months or even years when this practice began, the vegetable tanning currently used lasts between 1 and 2 days. Today, unlike the early days of the tanning industry, vats are much more saturated with tannin, which speeds up the process. By using only products from the biosphere, vegetable tanning is a method considered more respectful of the environment, as with vegan leather.

The leather obtained by vegetable tanning will have beautiful natural colors which will acquire a patina and take on a unique color over time. Vegetable tanning results in slightly stiffer and firmer leathers, unlike ostrich leather or chrome tanned leathers. However, its touch will be softer and silkier. This delicate leather is the leather that we use on our Signature Black, Havana bags or our Men's Wallets in Cognac, Chestnut and Black colors. It is also the leather used for our bracelets. men's watch 20mm and Ladies watch.

At Charlie Paris, we offer different strap materials to help you choose your watch strap. Beyond leather watch straps, we offer watch straps Milanese mesh watches orin steel. Even if a steel bracelet is waterproof, it is advisable to clean your steel bracelet in order to preserve it as well as possible. For these bracelets you can also adjust your Milanese mesh bracelet to your wrist and for a steel watch you have to remove links from your steel watch. If you want to give a sporty look to your watch, you can opt for a nylon strap to clean from time to time.


You will understand that vegetable tanning is not to be confused with vegan leather, which is not of animal origin. It is a textile imitating leather that is created using fibers contained in certain plants, the best known of which are pineapple leaf or eucalyptus fibers. However, the name vegan leather remains a misnomer and a beautiful oxymoron. The name "leather" is protected by a decree which stipulates that the leather must necessarily come from animal skin.

2. What about chrome tanning?

The vegetable tanning method is not the only method for tanning leather. The most widespread technique is that of mineral tanning or chrome tanning. In fact, more than 85% of the tanned skins in the world come from mineral tanning, a process developed at the end of the 19th century using mineral tannins, mainly chromium sulphate. This process is widely used because it allows leather to tan much faster than vegetable tanning, it only takes a few hours for the mineral tannins to transform the skin into leather.

The advantage of chrome tanned leather is that it will not move, the color will not change over time. So your Charlie ParisBleu wallet will be the same in 10 years! The other major advantage of chrome tanning is that you can apply brighter colors to the leather, like some of our interchangeable straps for women. Our interchangeable straps allow you to change your watch strap easily.


vegetable tanning benefitsVegetable Tanning or Chrome Tanning

vegetable tanned leather