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Colorful Leather

Leather in Asia has a rich history, particularly in Korea, China and Japan. ‘The Chronicles of Japan’ a Japanese history book, recorded that artefacts from deer and cattle hides, were brought to Japan at the end of the fifth century. Leather craftsman from around the region developed unique tannin processes that produce strong and flexible leather. As such it was used for garments, footwear, purses carrying bags, saddlery, battle helmets and armour. The ‘plain oil tanning’ , ‘smoke tanning’ and ‘brain tanning’ method have dominated the Japanese industry for the last 1500 years.
Tanneries developed and grew in Himeji city because of central location, proximity to important cities and for the Ichikawa river that offered hard water for liming process. The tanning is thus natural and eco-friendly. Leathers from this area became renowned as the ‘Himeji leather’ and ‘Himeji white leather’. Leather products were on display at the Vienna Show of 1873, which drew many attention and awards.


Demand grew for the leather and in the early 20th century, Japan modern industrialization, the international methods of tanning was introduced. One such tannery ‘Himeji Leather Manufacturer’, had Russian artisan to introduced the modern tanning process. As time progress, tanneries process leathers not only of Japan origin, but also from North America and Europe. These leathers are widely accepted and used globally in the fashion industry.
BE: Leather Lab has started to craft with this artisanal leather. We want to proudly introduce leathers from the Himeji City and other prefectures in Japan. We have started with a small collection so that crafters can have a taster of creating possibilities with ‘Himeji Leather’.

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