Through minimal design and high quality materials, Kate Sheridan bags are built to last. How do your bags change over time?
Natural, full grain vegetable tanned leather gets better with age. With exposure to the elements, the leather takes on its own unique life. Generally, vegetable tanned leather will darken over time and it develops its own unique patina that is inherent to the character of this wonderful leather. Because it is a natural product, all the hides have small differences and no one skin of leather is exactly the same, which is what makes this material so special.
The surface changes depending on the mix of tannins and any finish on the surface of the leather combined with the different elements that it is exposed to. Essentially, the more you use your bag in all environments, the more stories it can tell and the more individual it becomes.
What draws you to leather as a material?
Leather is a very sustainable material, as all skins used are a by-product of the food industry. So the tanning industry plays a key role in the recovery of waste from the meat and dairy sector. Animal husbandry and animal welfare are at the heart of the Italian tanneries we work with. Ever since I began working with leather it became clear to me that the better the animals are looked after, the better the leather.
Instead of these skins becoming waste products, they can be transformed into beautiful hides with myriad uses. A well made leather bag can last a lifetime and can be passed down through the generations. It is biodegradable and doesn’t leave a trace when it comes to the end of its time. Versatile, hardwearing and a joy to work with — vegetable tanned leather has a wonderful woody scent, which now also characterises the smell of the workshop and is often commented on by customers.