What Leather is that? The origin of Leather
Date Posted:24 December 2015
The Origin of Leather
There's a saying "they don't make things like they use to". When it comes to leather goods they are 100% wrong - Good leather should last a life-time.
Choosing the right kind of leather need not be difficult. The following information will help you in your search for the perfect piece. In fact, you will most likely wear out the soles of your boots before you wear out the leather!
Where does Leather come from?
Leathers are made from many different animal skins each having distinct character differences. The grain patterns on the surface of the leather are caused by the hairs and pores of the animal. Hides have a top layer which is compact and show these natural markings and a bottom layer which has looser fibers and do not show the markings.
Cattle make up about 65% of all leather products made today. The grains on the hide are uniform and closely packed together. Hides are usually split into two layers because of the thickness of the hide, with the top grain being the better of the two. Because of the large size of the hides they are used in a wide range of products from wallets to luggage. Buffalo leather is an alternative to using cow providing other beneficial characteristics.
Other popular animal leathers include Sheep (20%), Goat (5%) and Pig.
What is the most durable leather?
The two most durable leathers are both cut from the outer most layers of hide. These outer layers are more durable because of the fibers being closer together. This gives the leather the ability to hold up through all stress we put on it.
Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is the outermost layer of a hide that is prized for its durability and texture. The outer layer of a hide will usually have natural markings in the leather. To create top-grain leather, the outer layer of the hide is processed or sanded to get rid of the natural markings that occur. When any of these fibers are buffed (sanded) in order to reduce the number of apparent blemishes, leather's natural strength diminishes. A common way you may see these are embossed animal prints.
Full Grain Leather – Full grain leather is made up of the outer layer of a hide. However, unlike top-grain leather, the natural look of the leather is left untouched and the imperfections remain. It is the strongest leather available and can be found on anything from luggage to wallets. This leather is prized for its strength, durability, and appearance.
What is Genuine Leather?
Products labeled as “Genuine Leather” are usually one of the two types. Anything made out of these leathers do not hold up to the strains of frequent use and should only be purchased if you plan to use the item occasionally. A wallet, for example, is usually made of split or bonded leather.
Bonded Leather – The lowest grade of leather is bonded leather. It starts with a man-made product such as cardboard and surrounded with fragments of split leather secured by glue. This is used to save materials and time but greatly reduces durability and strength. It will be made to take on the look and feel of leather but does not have the strength to stand up to wear.
Split Grain Leather – Split grain leather is the inner most layer of a hide. Making it out of one full piece of leather makes it more durable than the bonded leather but not as durable as the top of the hide due to looser fibers. Split leather has no natural markings that give leather it's unique look.
What is Tanning?
Tanning is the process of making leather from hide, creating the leather feel and look we desire. There are a number of leather finishes
Belting Leather – Originally this type of leather was used in factories to drive the pulleys of the machines. Its stiffness made it perfect for this and makes it perfect for briefcases today. Usually not died to keep its natural color this leather darkens after time creating a rich look unique to each piece.
Oil Pull Leather – “Oil pull leather” gets its name from the effect when you rub your hand on the surface of the leather pulling the oils and creating the changes in color. The oil returns to the leather after the pressure is released, thus the surface will show two tone effects.
Saddle Leather – Sometimes known as crazy horse and is made from applying special waxes to surface of the leather. The effect here is that when rubbed the color will change and does not immediately reverse giving it an antique look.
Next time you need to replace your work boots - ask, "What Leather is that?" and choose a work boot that's made for the conditions.
This article was written with information sourced from www.LuggageandLeather.com
Rollins Boots are made from leathers specifically chosen to perform in a variety of Australian environments.
Rollins Lace-Up boots feature a full-grain leather upper with 'Saddle' (Crazy Horse) finish to give a 'dress' quality appearance. Wear'em to work, and keep wearing them out on the town - All-synthetic linings provide your foot with the comfort you need when wearing your boots all-day, and all-night.
We make Elastic-Sided boots two styles and both have all the safety needed to properly protect your feet on the job-site. Suede, while not as as durable as full-grain leather, is very soft and makes our Tan Work Boots look fantastic and very comfortable to wear. Because of the softer leather, they 'break-in' in a matter of days and you'll wonder why you hadn't gotten a pair sooner.
Manufactured in the same design as our Tan Elastic-Sided Boots, our Black Buffalo Leather Boots are the 'workhorse' of our range. The durability of Buffalo hide is legendary and it's natural strength makes these boots the choice in tough, harsh conditions. To provide additional comfort, we suggest the use of Polyurethane (PU) Innersoles and/or Extra Thick Bamboo Socks if you experience any 'comfort' issues with our footwear.
All Rollins Boots are made of leather and we guarantee their workmanship for six months from date of purchase.The innersoles in all Rollins Boots are replaceable, so, no need to replace your workboots if the innersoles are worn-out, and, if you wear custom orthopedics, these will slip straight into our shoes.