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The story of our East Indian leathers
Unlike the Kohinoor, we got this one back......
In the early 1800s, the East India Company, the largest multi-national of its time, discovered the traditional method of vegetable tanning being practiced in hundreds of well established tanneries in South India. By 1856, the British army – the most powerful army of that era was using E.I. leather for its accessories.
More than a century later, in the 1970s,when Dilip Kapur, our founder, first started working with leather in Denver, USA, he discovered that E.I. leather was still being used amongst notable fashion houses for crafting luxury footwear and bags. “My excitement that the finest leather in the world, came from my native area, led me on my return to india, to search for the few skilled tanners who had not yet given up the E.I. technique. I decided to dedicate Hidesign to research more innovative methods of vegetable tanning, something we have held on to over the past 38 years.”
Just as Champagne is specific to regions of North East France, Basmati rice to North India; ‘E.I.’ or East India leather is recognized and registered as an exclusive product with a Geographical Indication (G.I.) to parts of Tamil Nadu, India. The leather from India, called as East India leather, is specially prized for its beautiful blonde shade that glows through any color that is hand rubbed onto it.
Hidesign’s East India leather is especially strong, with a lively bounce because the extracts of Myrobalan seed and Wattle bark ‘feed’ and ‘fill’ the leather, unlike chemical chrome tanning which only ‘covers’ the leather fibers. As a leader in the research and restoration of East India leather, we take pride in tanning our leathers slowly and ecologically, continuing a long heritage of producing exquisite leathers that are renowned worldwide.