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Leather – What Is It Where To Obtain It

LEATHER – WHAT IS IT? WHERE TO OBTEAIN IT? DIFFERENCE, PROPERTIES & MAKING PROCESS

Leather is among the earliest human findings in history. The primitive man killed animals for food and utilized their skin in making tents, clothes, and shoes. Finest Leather is one of the most luxurious materials humans ever learned to use today. It comes in various types, colors, textures, and quality.
Despite it staying around for such a lengthy time, some people do not know enough about it in-details except the fact that the finest Leather comes from animals. In this post, we will take you to different types of this material.
Here you will learn about Leather, kinds of Leather, how it is made, and finally, how to identify different leather types while purchasing leather items.
Leather appears in various kinds depending upon where it is sourced and how it is made. But to recognize the finest Leather, it is crucial to know from which part of animal skin it is prepared. 

WHAT IS LEATHER?
It is a natural material taken by processing raw animal hides with chemical or natural extracts in specific processing systems called tanneries. Raw hides cannot be used when altering and treating their fibers first as they are susceptible to decomposition. The tanning method lastingly changes the hide's protein structure and converts it into an extremely flexible, durable, and breathable material ideal for various applications.

FROM WHERE TO OBTAIN THE FINEST LEATHER?
Raw hides are taken from various different animals; some of these animals are:
  • Cowhide - used in making belts, wallets, bags
  • Goat hide - mostly used in gloves & garments
  • Deer hide - used in making soft garments & footballs
  • Sheep hide - used in shoes & small accessories.
  • Buffalo hide - used in belts, garments, and armor.

Leather is produced from hides taken from endangered animal species as well, such as snakes, crocodiles, and squirrels - a highly criticized practice in modern society. In general, any way that sacrifices animals just for the purpose of fashion is considered very unethical.

LEATHER VS HIDE - WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Some people practice both names interchangeably, but there is a complex technical difference between Leather & hide.
The hide is the unprocessed raw skin taken from animals. In its original form, it is susceptible to bacterial decomposition. Shortly after it is collected, it is dried in the sun to reduce the decomposition process and is then moved to tanneries for additional processing.
On the other hand, Finest Leather is an entirely processed and finished element when the rawhide runs by the tanning process. It is very stable due to permanent changes to its protein fibers through tanning and can be used for a long period without any type of breakdown or decomposition.

LEATHER PROPERTIES
Finest Leather is one of the most sustainable and durable materials around, which is the reason for its extensive use in producing items like jackets, bags, garments, long-lasting wallets, and also in knife sheaths. 
Some of the properties of Finest Leather that make it unique are:
  • Tear resistance
  • High resistance to fire
  • High resistance to flexing
  • Puncture proof
  • Good heat insulation
  • High resistance to chemical exposure
Since we have cheaper synthetic alternatives, why would we use Leather? 
It is Easy. 
Aside from its different advantages like resilience, durability, and a broad range of applications, Leather is similar to a fine wine; it ages well over time. It makes a special dense colored layer named the patina that gives it a tremendous antique appearance over time. It can be cleaned frequently and used for an extended time. 

HOW IS LEATHER MADE?  
An animal hide is turned to finished fine Leather through a specific process called tanning. Contrary to common belief, tanning for Leather is not lying down below the sun with sunscreen on.
The process is processed in plants known as leather tanneries, where the hides go from several physical and chemical processes that impart the good strengths that make Leather unique. 
Shall we discuss the Tanning Process in detail? Let's do it!

LEATHER TANNING PROCESS  
Tanning is converting the rawhide or skin proteins into a stable substance that will not putrefy with time when exposed to heat and moisture. Tanned substance dries out and makes a flexible material suitable for numerous household and industrial usage.
The method of tanning includes the chemical purification of the hide, removal of hair and skin, drying, softening, and finally dyeing to obtain that proper finished buffed out Leather-look that we all love

The goal of tanning the rawhide is to make the Leather less responsive to degradation with time. When practiced without proper tanning, a rawhide degrades with time when it gets in touch with heat, water, or other harsh environments. It changes the Leather at a molecular level and assists in maintaining its quality and durability over a long time.