Hidesign to launch special limited East India leather edition

By on October 12, 2016
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Hidesign to launch special limited East India leather edition

Top Indian leather products company Hidesign is preparing to launch a special limited edition line of goods made with East India leather, originally developed by the East India Company in 1856 to cater to the British Army.

In the early 1800s, the East India Company, the largest multi-national of its time, discovered the traditional method of vegetable tanning being practiced in hundreds of well-established tanneries in South India. It was estimated that around 120 tanneries were functioning then but lack of skilled labour coupled with the speed and profitability of chemical tanning – which takes only four days – worsened the situation, with less than 20 tanneries in operation today.

Hidesign founder Dilip Kapur said, “My excitement that the finest leather in the world came from my native area led me on my return to India to search for the few skilled tanners who had not yet given up the East India technique. I decided to dedicate Hidesign to research more innovative methods of vegetable tanning, something we have held on to over the past 37 years.”

More than a century later, in the 1970s, when Kapur first started working with leather in Denver, USA, he discovered that East India leather was still being used among notable fashion houses for crafting luxury footwear and bags. The leather from India, known as East India Leather (or EI) was especially prized for its beautiful blonde shade that glowed through any colour that was hand rubbed on to it. This special quality came from the raw materials used for its tanning native to the forests of South.

Hidesign found the lost art at a tannery in South East India. It’s East India leather is especially strong, with a lively bounce because the extracts of myrobalam seed and wattle bark ‘feed’ and ‘fill’ the leather, unlike chemical chrome tanning which only ‘covers’ the leather fibers. Vegetable tanning is the only sustainable and ecological process of tanning as they are good for the earth, and safe to wear and allow your skin to breathe. Hidesign holds on firmly to the ecological technique of vegetable tanning, proven as the ideal process for converting a raw hide into healthy and useful leather that ages gracefully.

Currently, East India leather products are very popular in European countries like Italy and France.

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