Bati's distinct identity is rooted in the natural beauty that echoes through the Paraguayan countryside. We often marvel at the endless palm groves and herds of cattle that grace the landscape, and we’re mindful of our duty to help sustain this gift.
That’s why we use vegetable-tanned cow leather. Wait, so your goods are prepped with vegetables and stuff? Not quite, but good guess! The vegetable part refers specifically to the tanning process of the leather.
There are many methods of leather tanning that are utilized today. The most common are chrome and aldehyde tanning. The former dominates products in the fashion world (shoes, bags, and purses), the latter to upholster automobile interiors (seats, dashboards, and steering wheels). These tanning methods alter the natural state of the leather to make it softer and more reflective. The chemicals erase any natural marks on the hide, settling instead for a product that has a uniform color, tone and texture.
While these methods provide rapid turnarounds for manufacturers, they produce extremely harmful chemicals whose carcinogens endanger those who are tanning the hide. It has a devastating effect on the environment as well.
Vegetable-tanning is completely chemical free. It’s the old school way of tanning leather - it takes longer and is more expensive than chemical-based methods. It’s a lot less common, in large part because of its meticulous process that needs to be executed by experts. Luckily for us, our amigos from Tobatí have been doing this for decades. It’s a family business that has been passed down for generations – it’s all they know!
Vegetable-tanning sources natural tannic acids found in some plants (barks, branches, fruits) to treat the hide. The organic ingredients breathe life into the hide, providing it the durability needed to sustain time.
While in Tobatí in March ’17 manufacturing the initial line of Bati goods, we were inspired by the unique identity of the individual hides. Each had subtle variances of color, tone, and texture. They looked one way in the shade and then blossomed into a vibrant brown when put under the sun.
They were all the same, yet so different at the same time. Every hide had a story to tell, each one strong enough to stand on its own.
Bati embraces the diversity that the world has to offer, and we stay true to this mentality when sourcing our leather. We don’t cover up any of the small imperfections on the hide. Instead, we embrace them. We seek to uphold the natural state of the leather, and believe doing so amplifies the life of the product and allows its natural glow to hint at the shady jungle from which it was created.
Bati leather wears its heart on its hide, and evolves over time as its used. The color, tone and texture all mature together as years pass; the final result is a distinct blend that carries the secret of life’s beauty. One touch to the soft leather throws you right into the heart of Paraguay atop a motorcycle, wind whistling through your hair as you jet through shadowy jungle breezes on winding dirt roads on a path to nowhere.
Getting a Bati good is just the first step. The true beauty of the product is earned, a glimmer that shines brighter with time...