One of my favorite is the fragrance of baked bread, that for obvious reasons I couldn’t close in a pencil case, or the perfume of cloves, that I keep scrupulously stored in the kitchen, then I’ve had an intuition: I’ve recently got into the habit of bringing along a small piece of leather.

It was pink, or rather flesh pink, what is usually known as “natural”, but also cowhide.

I said “was” cause I have kneaded it so many times by now that it has got big stains in the points where I usually hold it… In this occasion I will neglect the psychological implications of this habit, but I admit I like rubbing it cause the surface is smooth and yet not slippery. Fingers find a pleasant and voluptuous grip to face with.

Then the leather warms up and it spontaneously approaches to our nostrils and here we go: a perfume coming from a floral, woody memory. It reminds me of the long walking in the countryside around Venice, and the fall chestnut harvest in the province of Montello.

Now if you approach a pair of sneakers it is more likely to smell a plastic flavor, whereas if you sniff the first bag passed off as authentic leather, you maybe won’t smell a woody flavor but rather a chrome taste. This does not necessarily mean it’s not leather, but it is certainly different from a Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather.

This magic piece of leather is a cut out of Tempesti tannery, true landmark of the vegetal tanning. Vegetal tanning is the most ancient tanning method for leather. It takes time, patience and a great know-how for developing recipes that make the leather unique and lively. Each tannery has its own secret formula, jealously guarded.

The most relevant components of this type of tanning are natural tannins, in both liquid and powder form. Tannins are obtained from different parts of the plants, like the cortex, the pod, the leaves and the fruits. Among the most famous examples of tannins we include the chestnut wood tannins or the ones extracted from the acacia cortex or from the silver wattle.

The process consists in the immersion of the leather in tanks containing tannin acid solutions and left to macerate. The entire process is totally eco-friendly and sustainable.

This procedure takes time and money and the fashion industry does not seem interested in the investment, therefore those techniques are gradually disappearing in favor of the chrome tanning and of the wet white, with very different perfumes…

In Tuscany, the Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Consortium brings together 22 tanneries sharing the same standards of production, according to ancient methods. Tempesti is one of the partner and the founding member, not only he safeguards this tradition, but it let it grow up with the sensible and forward-looking approach of the innovation. The “techniques”, precious workforce of the leather tanning industry are real alchemists who develop amazing leathers which not only can tell our past, but can also improve with time, determining the coolness of the brand.

Tempesti is the equivalent of quality, beauty and innovation and the Elbamatt is an example of this. The industrial patent which concerns it declares the authenticity of the most advanced techniques producing the vacchetta vegetable-tanned.

Elbamatt fits both the handbag industry and the footwear: indeed it can have different thickness according to the need, it ages very well, it has different paint chips and it has different finishing, from the polish effect, to wash emphasizing the aged effect.

Besides the Elbamatt, obtained from the back of the calf, the other Tempesti flagship product is Maine, a drier leather obtained from the shoulder of the animal. Always obtained with vegetal tanning, the Maine, perfect for the footwear, can be realized on different bases and in several colors.

This could seem a negligible detail, but it is not. Indeed, we have to keep in mind that vegetable tanning is a little bit like oil painting based on pigments. It’s not a chance that both flourished in Tuscany: their tones are clearly linked to the natural elements that are used.

For this reason it is impossible to find a neon yellow or a blue cyan, because this would imply a chemical treatment on the leather. Incredibly, the leather experts working for Tempesti have been able to offer a variety of colors with more than 60 shades, going from classic colors to irreverent pastel tones like coral, purple and mint green.

When I have discovered the leathers of this tannery it has been a real love at first sight and I can surely assert that a material of this kind is able to enhance any design.

I have recently proposed this leather to a client for realizing a project, he has approved it with a great enthusiasm, confiding to me how the small piece of material reminded him of the leather of his father’s camera bag…

How could I define it, the power of the emotions?