Originally Posted by RIDER
Not at all.......of the three types of tanning, all have been found to have equal
potential of negative environmental impacts. It's all about waste processing and that goes hand-in-hand with regulation.
I don't think so...it just doesn't make any sense. I'm not saying that there are no
negative impacts but when you base your process on, or start out
with, chromium salts, which are highly toxic, it's going to be a far cry from starting out with oak bark. And that's just the start, what is the end like--the effluent? Still chromium sulfate in the case of chrome tanning and only vegetable extracts in veg tans--natural, compostable, non-toxic, etc..
In the case of Baker, and all the other small tanneries that the slideshow alluded to (as well as tanneries in the US in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries most, if not all of which were bark tannages) there were no regulations, and no long term deleterious effects, on people or the environment either.
Salt--sodium chloride--is not part of the tanning process, it is a temporary preservation technique that is effected often before the hides even reach the tannery.
As for chrome tanned leathers being softer than veg. tanned leathers...that's not been my experience. Some...maybe even most are...but that is just as dependent on after tanning processes as what colour the leather will be. I've seen (and used veg tanned sides that were as spongy (moreso), loose and soft as any chrome. And judging by the "hand" softer than anything but leathers like deerskin. Several outfits in Germany...Ecotan comes to mind...produce a entirely veg tanned lining calf that is as soft or softer than any chrome tanned orthopedic "pearl cow." I've used it, I love it...I can't afford the price or the wait.
--Edited by DWFII - 6/5/14 at 7:34am