Three Tanneries Pioneering American Hides & Leather
American leathergoods and interior brands are looking to local and quality-assured leather firms. Here are three US-based leather hide producers and/or suppliers offering stylish and mindful fabrics for bags, fashion and the home.
Producing some of North America’s premier leathers, Pergamena is a family-run firm lasting fifteen generations. Blending ancient methods with modern innovations, the members of the Meyer family - based in the Hudson Valley - continue to produce environmentally sustainable leather fabrics via vegetable tanning.
Unlike leather, which is tanned through a carefully controlled chemical process, the American produced parchment is uses a completely different method called liming. It involves the soaking of hides in an alkali solution which removes unwanted proteins and natural grease and fats. Because parchment does not undergo the tanning process, it is a more fragile fabric than regular leather, and is highly reactive to changes in humidity.
All hides are sourced from North America, with the majority coming from the northeast US. A large portion come from meat and dairy farms around the Hudson Valley and New York state, with Pergamena preferring to have direct relations with the farms and farmers whenever possible.
Available on Le Souk, the slate blue vegetable tan goat Leather has been enhanced with a new water-resistant as is ideal for men's weekend bags and upholstery. Meanwhile, the natural biscuit-hued calf skin is a delicate choice for small bag's and clutches.
Based in the eclectic garment district of New York, Rainbow Leather is a printer and dyer of both real and synthetic leather hides. Founded by Sam Lipson, Rainbow is a family-business, now helmed by son, Richard. The company is the only remaining printing and embossing operation of its kind in the U.S. - and its diversity in product is unmatched.
Rainbow sources American leathers that are already tanned and uses traditional machines (worked by a small team of just ten people) to whip out exotic leopard and python-patterned materials, as well as embossed polka-dot and paisley patterns.
Supplying to the footwear, accessories and furniture industries, the Rainbow's main leathers are pig suede, calfskin and cow.
Available on Le Souk, the cobra gold oval print is a glitzy option for women's clothing and bags; while the renaissance lace is an ideal brocade patterned pig skin for upholstery.
Based out of North Carolina, Anthem distributes leather hides for furniture and leather goods. Operating since 1997, the American firm operates out of heaving 50,000 square foot distribution center, which boasts 20 different leather patterns and 150 colors, mostly bovine or cow. This includes a line of high quality finished leather, from a basic protected to a full aniline.
Moreover, the leather is sourced from highly qualified tanneries in Brazil, Argentina and Italy - forming part of Anthem's very transparent supply chain. Most of the hides are sourced from abattoirs, so the purposeful killing of the animal is taken out of the equation.
Available on Le Souk, the distressed bordeaux fabric in dark brown is made from 100% bovine Leather and was produced in Italy. It's great for bags, shoes, and other fine leather goods.