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Getting Better with Age: learn about leather patina

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Getting Better with Age: learn about leather patina

A widely acknowledged fact: some things just get better with age. Things like wine, cheese…Gary Barlow. Our leather is one of them.

We talk a lot about life’s little extras, the small things that lift your day (our personalised leather pieces being one of them) and it’s that little extra time, care, love and attention that goes into preparing our leather that means our accessories just get better and better. They’re prepared traditionally and naturally, which brings out the very best in them.

We use beautiful vegetable tanned leather, which means it is prepared using natural materials and dyes like roots, bark and leaves instead of harsh chemicals. This makes it an environmentally friendly options which is low energy, safe to produce and recycle. It’s the leather favoured by traditional craftspeople – hardwearing, high quality and lovingly created. An investment piece, you might say.

When undyed in its original state, the leather has a pale cream-like colour and over time will develop what’s known as “patina”, a natural change into a warm golden tone, giving a sun-kissed look. Patina is a sign of the highest quality – with no chemical agent to seal the leather it’s allowed to breath and age as intended.

Developing a patina is a slow process which happens gradually over time depending on how often the piece is handled and the kind of conditions it’s exposed to. The small coin purse you use every day will take on oils from your hands and rays from sunny days out together sooner than the passport holder you use less often than you’d like to, for example. Sun exposure gives an all-over gradual glow, natural oils from your skin will create darker patches, a sprinkle of water will leave a mark which will smooth and fade over time. It’s the kind of gradual you barely notice happening, a bit like that feeling you might get at the end of the summer months when you realise oh, I have got a bit of a tan after all, rather than a sudden colour transformation.

The beauty of vegetable tanned leather is that it takes on character over time too, an accumulation of memories with a story to share. The dusting of spots like freckles on the back of your pouch? From that night out you got caught running for a taxi in the rain. The deep tan colour of your favourite keyring? From years of absent-minded twiddling on the bus home. Our pieces are here for a good time and a long time, and they’ve got the laughter lines to prove it.

Patina is more apparent on natural, undyed leather rather than brightly coloured hides, so when it comes to Sbri that means a lot of our printed lines where we use natural leather as a base: the classic Emily, Dorothy, Florence, Frida, Georgia, Becky, Summer and Catrin. Whether you choose her in coin purse, envelope, keyring or to travel, your bit of Sbri will be one of a kind.

Our pieces are made to age with you, to keep bringing you the same delight when you reach for your purse or jangle your keys on day 1 and day 1000. They’ll tell a part of your story on the outside and hold your secrets safe within. Just like old friends - growing up together, getting better and better with the years, ageing gracefully (or not, as the case may be).