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Tartufo Collection


The Tartufo Collection, consisting of a compatible stool and bench, celebrates some of the intrinsic qualities of vegetable-tanned leather. This tanning process allows natural tanning agents to convert raw skin into leather. This time consuming, traditional and natural process creates leather that reveals a testimony of use over time. The furniture pieces explore an ancient natural chemical colouring technique in which a Vinegaroon liquid, white wine vinegar and steel, reacts with the tannin inside the leather. Originally this 2000 year old technique was used to dye vegetable-tanned leather black. However my experiments with subtle changes in the Vinegaroon concentration against the tanning recipe for the leather has resulted in a collection of unexpected colour variations exploring ‘the inbetween colours’ before reaching the final black. Every traditional tannery is known for its secret tanning recipe. The Vinegaroon reveals slightly different colour shades depending on the formula of the recipe. The longer the brewing time of the Vinegaroon, the darker the end result. In addition to the leather, Vinagaroon reacts with oak wood which also contains tannin, to create a similar colouring effect unifying all elements of the design. Reviving this colouring technique and translating it into a contemporary context required a lot of experimentation and historical research. In contrast with chemical colours, the process is all about natural chemistry, building on the rich heritage of tanning the leather. The collection also explores a new way of upholstery by approaching the leather as a structural element. Grooves in the oak frames facilitate tension in the 3.5mm thick leather to create a pared back and tension held structure. The leather parts are replaceable as there is no sewing or glue involved. By using the furniture pieces over time the leather will age and comfortably soften slightly. Design Field: Product; furniture