All Robert Christopher products are made using 100% vegetable tanned leather.
Instead of using chromium based salts to transform the raw hide into leather, vegetable tanning relies on natural ingredients such as oak bark, chestnut and mimosa.
The tannins within these ingredients replace the need for aggressive chemicals.
It is a considerably slower process taking anywhere between 3-14 months to produce and is considerably more environmentally friendly.
Because it does not lend itself to mass production, only 10% of leather in the world is produced in this way.
The result is a product that retains more of the original texture of the skin with superior strength to its chrome-tanned counterpart.
It also helps retain more of the natural oils that contribute to keeping the leather soft and flexible. These oils contribute to the way vegetable tanned leather darkens over time and develops the signature patina synonymous with quality leather goods.
Every hide comes with its own unique subtle variations in texture, colour and malleability.
I always ensure I use these variations in my work.
They serve as a reminder of the materials organic nature, and when used properly, only add to a piece's aesthetic and practical value.
I use four types of leather within my current range, Italian shoulder and Calf, French Chèvre, and Russian Salmon.
A detailed description of each of these can be found on the product page where the leather is featured.
I only use waxed linen thread by the French brand ‘Fil au Chinois’. They have been market leaders in producing durable threads in a wide range of deep and rich colours to the leather industry since 1850.
Once cut to size, I run the thread through a block of beeswax before stitching. This adds a second protective waterproof layer and assists in ensuring the thread is not damaged in the stitching process.