Palmleather – Process

  • Palm leather Process



Palmleather makes for a innovative alternative to conventional animal leather as well as the plastic and rubber faux-leathers. It is fully nature based and socially produced.
To produce it the dry and brittle palm leaves are cured with a biological softening solution designed in 2011 by the Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven. This natural material makes use of a waste stream from the betel nut tree which sheeds eighty million square meters of palm leaves each year.
Palmleather contributes to an organic circular flow of material and carbon cycle with a positive social impact. In its production process it employs the people from Karnataka region, one of the poorest regions of India. The leaves fall to the ground in autumn and are carefully collected by fair trade workers. They are then transported, cut, soaked in the ecological softening solution to be made flexible, and dried leaf by leaf.


Being sourced in nature the material retains the beautiful texture of a palm leaf. Because of the natural leaf fibers the sheets bends better along-fibers and are more stiff in the other direction, a feature which might be familiar to those working with wood.
Palmleather does not contain any harmful or toxic chemicals and no animals were harmed in its production process, therefore its fully biodegradable, vegan and has extremly low water use per square meter.



It is reasonably strong and can be processed using conventional leather-working methods with addition of a few modern techniques such as laser-cutting and embossing.
It proves resistance to abrasion, rubbing and tearing.
Palmleather is highly sustainable and meets Global Sustainability Goals with a special attention to ending poverty, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being, providing decent work and economic growth, making cities and settlements inclusive, safe and sustainable, fighting the climate change and its impacts and last but not least creating a lasting partnership to achieve these goals.

Materials, Research