There are only a few small tanneries that do genuine bark tan. The big commercial outfits that sell “vegetable tan” are actually doing a combination of vegetable and chrome tanning, that is cheaper to do on a factory scale, but results in an inferior leather that pollutes the environment and isn’t historically accurate (for those of you who care.) We prefer the real stuff.
This bark tan is made from cow and steer hides, full tanned, though there may be some buffalo done this way too. Doug Crist has limited amounts of lightly through tanned (similar to the native styles) deer, elk and moose hides for sale which I believe is priced a lot like their brain tanned hides at $15 a square foot. His contact info is in the Braintan.com Resource Directory.
You can buy genuine bark tanned leather using Oregon Douglas fir and hemlock bark direct from Traditional Tanners. These heavy steer hides from western Oregon are free of range scars and brands.
6-7 oz. Most popular weight for work boots, handbags, ladies belts, shoulder straps, knife sheaths and small tool pouches.
8-9 oz. Good for belts of 1-¼ and 1-½” widths, rifle scabbards, holsters and motorcycle bags.
10-13 oz. Use for halters, bridles, breast collars, reins, lineman’s belts, tie straps, dog collars, light carriage harnesses, lightweight saddles, stirrup leathers and cutting reins.
Call us at 1-888-HideTan.