Gum Arabic Tree (Latin: Acacia nilotica)
Vegetable tanning using bark from the gum arabic tree
All of our Gusti Leather nature products are tanned using bark from the gum arabic tree. This tree grows mainly in Africa and India. It grows slowly but can reach heights of 5 to 20 meters in sandy soil in a dry climate. The tree’s bark has a concentration of up to 20% of the natural tannin, meaning that it can be used for tanning different types of leather.
The vegetable tanning process
During the vegetable tanning process, the tannins alter the hide’s collagen molecules. Collagen molecules are structural proteins that are found in the connective tissue and lower layers of skin in humans and animals. This process creates leather that is strong and durable. It also makes the leather flexible and protects it against microorganisms that may cause the hide to decompose.
The versatility of the gum arabic tree
The gum arabic tree can also be used in medicine. Its bark can be used to protect against scurvy or as a remedy for abdominal pain and nausea. The pulses produced by the tree can be used as animal feed, making it an extremely versatile tree.
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