What Are Sumac Bushes Used For In Leather Tanning?

Sumach Bush

Sumac bushes are a great source for natural veg tanning of leather, its leaves which are of a dark green nature contain natural tannings to tan veg tanned leather.

Sumac can also be spelt Sumach so people get confused thinking it’s a different tree. Sumac trees grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, including East Asia, Africa, and North America.

Sumac trees grow to varying heights of up to 30 feet, there are many different species, possibly around 35 types.

The natural vegetable tannings alter the protein structure of the hide. This causes a reaction to make it into leather, no matter what type of leather you have, it’s not leather until the protein structure is altered and stabilised with sufficient chemicals to keep it soft and supple at all times. Before this process has taken place the hide is rock hard like cardboard.

More and more people are trying to grow sumac trees due to the beautiful striking colours they produce in Autumn, rich vibrant colours that stand out against any other plant / tree.

Sumac can cause health issues with its poison; it causes a serious skin rash that can last weeks. Thankfully there is not as much poison sumac as there is poison oak and ivy, but numbers are increasing rapidly of sumac and the figures could surpass poison oak and ivy.

Sumac has a rich source of hydrolysable tannins making it a natural product to alter the protein structure of hides to turn them into leather skins with natural materials avoiding the use of harsher chemicals.

Connolly leather was always veg tanned with natural products like sumacs and bark extracts, natural veg tanned hides can take over a year to make, where as a pigmented leather is extremely quick.

Sumach Bushes

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