Böle Tannery


This is my great grandfather’s story. My grandfather’s story. My father’s story. And my story.

I was born into a tradition and a way of thinking about sustainability and quality rarely seen nowadays. Quality cannot be hurried, a fact that has been drummed into me all my life. Tanning, the transformation of raw hide into leather, can be achieved in various ways. Before 1850, most leather was tanned using tree bark. Over time, this process has almost been forgotten and there are only a few bark tanneries of any account left in the whole wide world. One of them is our small place in Böle village outside Piteå, right up in the north of Sweden.

Here we still tan our leather with spruce bark and water. No chemicals. In open vats filled with water from the Pite river. Water that hasn´t been changed since 1918. If you visit us, you will find that the scent of it is a pleasure to the nose. But it takes time. To tan a single hide can take up to 12 months. We still think it´s worth it when we see the end result. A beautiful leather, naturally colored by spruce bark. Unlike anything else.

When it comes to making the bags, our master saddler really knows his stuff. He has been around as long as I can remember and I have often heard him grunt: “Anything made after 1890 is crap.” He can hardly be said to mince his words, but the attitude serves Böle well. You will never find us resorting to quick solutions. We will always focus on making products that last and age beautifully. 

In times like these, there are perhaps not so many “old fashioned” companies around. I am very proud to carry on the tradition together with my father. Whatever future we meet, I´m sure of one thing; we will meet it staying true to our values.

Sustainably Yours,

Anders Sandlund
Proprietor & 4th generation family entrepreneur