The famous Italian tannery Ilcea and its owner Gruppo Vecchia Toscana has launched a webshop where one easily can buy single hides and have them shipped worldwide. A welcome addition especially for bespoke shoemakers or other small operations.


The leather industry is a bit special, where the normal standard for most tanneries is that customers order a whole batch of a leather which is then produced and delivered. A batch usually equals the amount of hides that the dying drums takes, rarely below 20 hides or so. Of course, small makers can’t buy that amount of a single type of hide at once. So they normally buy from leather wholesalers, if you’re lucky you have good ones close to where you live or at least easily can travel to them. Otherwise makers have often had to call different leather merchants and try to get a hold of what they are after, or use other various creative ways to source good leather. This is also an area where internet hasn’t really opened up in the same way as in many other places. There’s some wholesalers, A&A Crack in the UK is probably the most famous one, and their English competitor Euroleathers another one. In those cases they showcase in a good way what’s available, but you still have to order via e-mail or phone, and can’t see prices. In the US Rocky Mountain Leather Supply has gained a lot of recognition in recent years, with offering a wide variety of especially European leathers in a well-made webshop where one can see exactly what they offer, what’s in stock and place orders directly online.

Museum calf / Radica from Ilcea with a hatch grain embossing.

Museum calf / Radica from Ilcea with a hatch grain embossing.

It’s along this line that we have the new webshop of Gruppo Vecchia Toscana. They own the tannery Vecchia Toscana, who’ve focused on chrome tanning calf leather but nowadays also do some vegetable tanned leathers, plus bought the tannery Ilcea after they went bankrupt a few years ago. Ilcea who is one of the larger suppliers of chrome tanned calf leather for high quality footwear in Italy, and also sell a lot internationally. Still interesting to see that a tannery / tannery group starts this type of business themselves, hopefully something we’ll see more of. In the online store a number of the most popular products from the two tanneries can be found, including box calf, full reverse calf suede, and several museum calf / Radica leathers. Count on more leathers to be added going forward. You can see which colours each leather is made in, see which ones are in stock, chose A or B grade, and just put your selected item in the basket and click home as a regular webshop. Prices vary depending on type of leather and grade, from a bit below €70 up to almost €180, but most are around €100 (prices mentioned here are including VAT.

White crust calf leather is one of the products available.

White crust calf leather, to be dyed individually, is one of the products available.

Full reverse calf suede in a chocolate brown.

Full reverse calf suede in a brown shade. All pictures: Gruppo Vecchia Toscana