A material used for many different tasks including armor and weapons, to casual wear, shoes, and even building. Developed by the quilan after the peace treaties of Ethiea ended the wars and outlawed the use of leather made from the hides of sentient species. Tree leather soon spread throughout Ethiea and today is a major export for Veila and the planet.
Made from the bark of trees found in the northern and central regions of Veila. Farmers rotate through sections of the oldest trees in the forest harvesting the bark for its soft and supple texture and the complex patterns of grooves, ridges, and bumps. As the bark ages it becomes thicker and softer, becoming spongy and malleable before separating from the trunk and peeling off.
The largest pieces from the trunk are stacked and tied together to prevent them from breaking, or cut into smaller pieces for shipping depending on their destination and intended use. While the thinner and lighter sections of bark taken from the branches are gently bundled together to be processed for more delicate works.
Once it has left the farmers in Veila, the bark is received by tanneries who then separate the dappled wood by color, ranging from light tan to dark reddish brown. The brighter barks being used for more mundane purposes and those that will be dyed for clothing and armor designs, and the darker barks being used for more expensive and 'natural' looks.
The bark is then soaked in a solution of plant leaves, wood ash, and dyes for one day up to a month, depending on the thickness of the bark and how supple the final product is needed. The bark is then removed and left to hang until dry before being re-submerged into a fresh solution.
Now doubled in thickness the bark is removed from the solution a pressed into a thin sheet, removing any access water and turning it into a dense and flexible material. The bark then repeats the submerging and pressing process until it reaches the desired thickness and flexibility.
Stretching and Hardening
In the hands of leatherworkers and other craftspeople the tree leather undergoes its final treatment before being used in any projects.
For stiff and hard leather, a piece is soaked in cold water for a few minutes before being placed in a vat of boiling water mixed with wax. Once softened it is removed and shaped until cool, the leather then hardens and retains its shape.
For soft and velvety leather, the piece is conditioned with oils multiple times over the course of weeks or months. After reaching a point where the piece can withstand it, the leather is stretched over a wooden saddle. Being folded over and flipped until it's reached a silken texture and capable of being stitched together for clothing and artwork.