A Brief Introduction To The Science Of Leather
Leather is a tanned animal skin from which the hair has been removed. The tanning
process makes the product durable and consequently prevents it from spoiling.
Tanning is thought to be have been discovered by accident. Initially fat and oil were
rubbed into the skins and the tanning processes were developed at a later stage.
The natural colors of leather (brown, white, yellow, blue-green) are determined by
the tanning agents. But today fashion dictates a wide range of colours and so after
the tanning process leather is also dyed.
Your guide to leather apparelLeather is nature's most practical and sensual material. Because of new techniques,
skins are lighter, enabling designers to fashion garments for year round use. Beautiful
finishes, textures and colors enhance leather's appeal and universality. To help you
fully appreciate your genuine leather garment, we offers the following information on
how this unique natural product is made - and the proper ways to care for it. Also
included is a comprehensive glossary defining important leather terminology.
What To Look For When Buying Leather
The look and feelIf you are like most people, the first thing you do when you look at a leather garment
is to touch it to feel its softness and texture. The way leather feels to the touch is
called its hand and the general rule is: the softer the hand, the higher the cost.
Several factors influence the general appearance and overall quality of a leather
garment. The first is the raw material, which is a product of genetics. Every hide (a
whole pelt from a cow or steer, etc.) and skin (the pelt of young or smaller animals)
has sections that are inherently wrinkled, softer or thinner than other parts.
Environmental conditions including climate and food supply are also a factor. Nature's
creations are never uniform; these surface variations and imperfections impart
a unique beauty to genuine leather garments.
WorkmanshipThe tradition of leather making is more than 5,000 years old, and the first tanners'
guilds can be traced back as far as twelfth century England. First a protective
treatment termed curing is applied to the hide or pelt and it is shipped to a tannery.
There the raw materials undergo a chemical process to render the leather soft and
pliable. Tanners can now adjust the thickness of the skin, change the color and apply
a finish that alter or enhance leather's appearance. We receive the finished products
and create the leather apparel that you enjoy today.
• Leather resists tears, punctures, heat and cold
• Leather stretches and can mold to fit you, yet retains sufficient
shape to provide support
• Leather is breathable and can actually wick away moisture
• Garment leather is a by-product of farming and human food production.
It do not come from animals killed just for their hides.
• No endangered species are ever used.
Leather Care Tips
Leather ages gracefully and can last a lifetime with proper care right from the start.
• Always hang leather garments on wide or padded hangers to maintain their shape.
Use shoetrees in footwear and stuff empty handbags with tissue to help retain
• Never store leather goods in plastic or other non-breathable covers. This
will cause leather to become dry.
• Allow wet or damp leather to air-dry naturally away from any heat source.
Leather can be treated with a conditioner to restore flexibility while
suede can be brushed with a terry towel to restore its look.
• In winter, promptly remove salt deposits from garments and footwear
by sponging with clear water, then follow with the above treatment for wet
or damp leather.
• Avoid very humid and dry environments as well as direct sunlight.
• Do not use waxes, silicone products or other leather preparations
that impair a garment's ability to breathe.
• To remove everyday dirt from smooth leathers, periodically wipe them
with a water-dampened cloth. To help keep your garment soft and supple and
retain its natural oils, periodically apply some lotion with a soft cloth
using a gentle circular motion.
• Stains from alcohol or protein substances like food, milk or blood
should be lightly dabbed with a water-dampened cloth to help prevent them
• Wrinkles should hang out. If ironing is desired, set iron on rayon
setting, use heavy brown wrapping paper as a pressing cloth on right side
of the garment and a quick hand to prevent overheating and shine.
• Avoid spraying perfumes or hair sprays while wearing your garment
and do not apply pins, adhesive badges or tape. Wearing a scarf at the neckline
will help keep hair and body oil away from the collar.