Some designer handbags are well-known for their distinctive colors and appearance. Some also use vegetable-dyed leather in their signature designs. Vegetable tanning is an age-old process which uses the tannins of organic materials such as tree bark or vegetable matter. There are typically no additional dyes or treatments used on the leather to color or protect it. In it’s most natural state, the natural beauty and characteristics of the leather remain visible. When new, it appears pristine and evenly colored. With use and exposure to oils and moisture, the patina begins to deepen and become more varied and mottled. A single drop of water can cause a permanent stain.
Cleaning options for items with vegetable-dyed leather are very limited as the leather is not stable in water. Exposure to moisture will cause the color to darken and become uneven. While items combined with vegetable-dyed leather can be cleaned, there may be a permanent change in the appearance of the leather.