Soft Leather: Durable and luxurious
Products made from leather are some of the most durable around — with proper care and treatment, they can last a lifetime. To celebrate the launch of Faye Toogood’s Puffy Lounge Chair, upholstered with Scandinavian leather, we’re taking a closer look at the characteristics of this reliable and exclusive material. Join us as we turn to its source by visiting Elmo, the producer of our Soft Leather.
Located in the small village of Svenljunga, in the South of Sweden, Elmo factory has been producing quality material since 1931. The entire production, from the intake of raw hides to the finished and ready-to-sell product, all happens in one place. Each overall process takes an average of 30 days, and the company’s secrets lie between the unparalleled quality of their raw material and the know-how of their specialists. “All our hides are sourced locally in Scandinavia,” says Elmo's Regional Manager, Harri Sjöblom, proudly. “The highest quality of breeding plays a crucial role here: the animals are treated with respect, fed without hormones, naturally protected from harmful parasites that don’t occur in the cool Nordic climate,” he adds.
Tanning, the most crucial part of the process, preserves the hides and their natural characteristics. Elmo Soft Leather, used by Hem, is vegetable-tanned, meaning it is preserved with tannins sourced from wood or plants. The hides are further dyed in massive tumble drums, and it’s through this process that the leather gains its final properties, such as softness or grain. To secure the highest quality of the material, the hides are then manually characterized into quality groups based upon natural characteristics such as scratch marks, open scars, and visible spots of natural pigment.
With excellence at the heart of everything Elmo does, it should come as no surprise that their means of production are of equal importance. At a 60% decrease of the water waste and a substantial drop of CO2 print, Elmo is on its way to becoming environmentally neutral. The waste from the production is entirely re-used and sold back to local farmers or energy companies, where it will be turned into natural fertilizer or bio-gas. “We’re sourcing the water from the nearby river, and return it after production in even cleaner condition,” describes Kent Johansson, the Environmental Manager. “This water is further filtered by a regional cleaning facility and supplies the Swedish West Coast with drinking water. It’s unique on a world scale.”
At Hem, we take great pride in making products that will continue to last for generations, and in forming partnerships with producers who share this vision. Leather is a great choice for upholstered furniture: it’s a natural, breathable material, that achieves a beautiful patina with age, and will last for generations when taken care of properly. Leather furniture is elegant, sophisticated, and comfortable. The semi-aniline leather keeps the unique structure and luxurious look of the material, while being contract-proof and extremely durable.
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