Vegetable tanning materials are very versatile and properly selected can be used in combination with other tanning methods and retaining materials for every end use.
Leather tanned in the traditional pits, or the more modern combination of pits and drums, on a total vegetable tan basis is most frequently used for:
- the soles of high quality footwear
- saddlery leathers
- bridle and other equestrian leathers
- flooring tiles
- leather for high quality belts
- bicycle saddles
- saddle bags for motorbikes and bicycles
- leather goods and upholstery where a sturdy material is required
- shoe uppers for clogs, sandals are other types
- shoe linings
- dog collars and leads
- belting uses for industry
- other industrial uses
- interior design
Modern designers continue to use leather in innovative ways. Vegetable tanning is suited to all types of raw material, so can be applied to make a soft lining leather from a sheep or goatskin, more traditional leather goods leathers, lining leathers from pig skins, or a thick sole leather from a large ox hide.
High quality leather goods and interior design are two specific areas where new uses for vegetable tanned leathers are being found. Some of these are very new while others are innovative contemporary twists on old ideas. The fact that vegetable tanned leather moulds well around objects of all types gives many opportunities for creativity to the modern designer.