sketch / image
  • 2015.04
for Tanners' Council of Japan

One of the defining qualities of natural leather is that the change it undergoes with years of use does not equate a reduction in quality but rather an addition of character, and this wearing-in actually results in a more attractive piece of material.
It occurred to us that we could exploit this characteristics by using tanning oil or sunscreen to place an invisible pattern on the surface of the leather. At the time of purchase, the product would appear to be plain leather, but with use and exposure to sunlight, the pattern would gradually begin to appear. As more time passed and with further exposure to sunlight, the pattern would once again disappear due to overall fading. We wanted it to be a design that would highlight the beauty of leather over time. After testing with a sizeable number of commercially available tanning oils, sunscreens, and combinations of both, we settled on using an overall coating of tanning oil, and on areas around the pattern we used an SPF 50 sunscreen that was coloured to match the leather using a brown makeup powder. In doing so, we were able to avoid the pattern being visible prior to exposure to sunlight due to “wet” colouration that appears when the coating is absorbed.
Featuring four different patterns, there are five types of items available: folders, book covers, card holders, containers, and stools.

suntan-pattern_sketch suntan-pattern01_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern02_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern03_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern04_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern05_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern06_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern07_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern08_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern09_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern10_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern11_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern12_akihiro_yoshida suntan-pattern13_akihiro_yoshida

Collaborator : abe, fna, nis
Photographer : Akihiro Yoshida