Much like a microbrewery, a microtannery is more than simply a small tannery. Tanning in small batches allows us to focus on the details, on crafting higher quality and environmentally friendly leather.
Our two small wooden tanning drums were reclaimed from a tannery in Somerset that closed in 2013. They now sit proudly in their new home, an old farm building in the Midlands. We have fitted out with all the equipment needed to tan kid leather on a small scale, but to ensure the quality we needed a teacher, someone to pass on the centuries of local tanning knowledge.
We turned to Paul Evans, formerly of the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies in Northampton and one of Britain's leading leather experts. Paul has been instrumental in our plans from the start and worked with us to develop our bespoke tanning process. While at its core, vegetable tanning has remained unchanged for thousands of years, at this scale and with Paul's guidance we will be able to experiment and evolve our methods going forward.
Not only is ours the first microtannery of its kind in the UK, but we believe it is the first time kid leather has been tanned entirely in the UK. Perhaps with an open Moroccan-style tannery in their minds, one of the first things people always ask us is about the smell, but the truth is that modern tanning can be a clean, environmentally friendly process.