Our full-grain leather is sourced from tanneries that supply luxury French fashion houses.
The Canvas: Raw Hide
To make a long-lasting product you need to start with quality materials. We select premium hides imported from New Zealand and process them for over a month to imbue a beautifully deep colour and lustre.
We use full-grain leather, which is the highest grade available due to the strength of the skin and its unique natural characteristics. Some companies use cheaper top grain or split leather that has been buffed to remove imperfections. This weakens the hide and removes the characteristics that make each piece of leather unique.
Tanning is the process of treating hides to prevent decomposition and produce stable leather. Fuss is often made around the tanning method, with claims that one method is superior to another. In reality, leather can be tanned using “vegetable tannins” (tree bark, oils, etc), “chrome salts” or a combination of the two. We use all three methods, depending on the desired characteristics of the end product. As a rule of thumb, vegetable tanned leather tends to be heavier and stiffer (therefore preferred for saddlery and traditional briefcases), whereas chrome tanning results in softer leather that is more resilient for daily use. These characteristics can be manipulated using milling and finishing techniques once tanning is complete. Ultimately, it’s about the desired finish.
Our leather is carefully coloured by hand using multiple layers of pigments without heavily coating the hide. This creates leather with warmth and character, and reveals the unique grain on each hide – something not found in leather made by more industrial methods.
Variations in grain pattern and colour are a testament to the natural history of the products. These variations are what make each Issara article beautiful and unique. With time, the oils from your skin and daily use will imbue the leather with a distinct patina, hinting at the places it has travelled and the stories it’s been privy to.
We believe that a social conscience is more than a “nice to have” – it is vital to our well-being to ensure that our environment and communities are considered in the course of doing business. In line with this ethos, we carefully evaluate each step in our supply chain. Our hides are sourced from New Zealand which is renowned for animal husbandry techniques and has strict animal welfare assurance requirements. The family owned tannery processing our hides is compliant with ISO14001 (Environmental management system) and is BSCI certified. To learn more about our ethical initiatives, refer here.