Leather is perhaps one of the most ancient material from which man began to make clothes. This is a truly ideal raw material: it is durable, “breathes”, letting air through, and reliably protects from wind and moisture. Over the centuries, leather dressing techniques have evolved and improved. And despite the fact that by now a lot of leather substitutes and high-quality artificial fabrics have appeared, a full-fledged competitor to natural leather has not been created, and this is unlikely to happen. Therefore, until now, leather clothing remains popular and does not go out of fashion.
The structure of the skin is different: thin and dense, matte or glossy, smooth or fleecy (suede or velor). And for the manufacture of certain products, various fragments of the skin are always used. Also, the skin is divided according to its purpose, namely: saddlery, shoe and clothing haberdashery.
Saddle leather is made mainly from pig, horse and camel skins. Due to its rigidity, this material is ideal for making bags, belts and other accessories.
As for outerwear, sheep skins are mainly used for its tailoring; and to create soft women’s gloves, the skin of foals, piglets or goats is already required.
Stages of skin preparation before sewing
This process is necessary to kill bacteria. Tanned leather is safe for health, and the reagents used for tanning are harmless to the body.
Tanning gives the skin strength and stops the decomposition process due to the fact that its pores are filled with tanning agent. The duplication is different.
1) Vegetable. The oldest and most proven method, which uses willow or oak bark.
2) Animal or fat. In this case, fats of marine animals and fish are used.
3) Chrome plating. For this method, chromium is used, the skins are compressed and the skin becomes denser.
Over the centuries of experience with leather, many different methods have accumulated. The simplest and oldest is manual. It is used for piece products and is the immersion of the skin in a container of paint. Dyeing vats with blades are used for large volumes, and brush dyeing is used for large hides. Bright colors are achieved with aniline dyes, and black with natural dyes.
Modern methods of coloring help to achieve a variety of colors and textures. For example, using dyeing and embossing, you can imitate the skin of a fish, monitor lizard, crocodile, ostrich or monitor lizard.
Sheep skins are considered the softest and most tender. However, their size is small, so the cost of sheep skin products is quite high. Sheepskins with coarse wool are used to make sheepskin coats, and leather called chevret is made from the skin of merino sheep. It is very flexible, but not very strong.
Another widely used raw material is goat skin. It can be distinguished by its fine wavy pattern and soft texture. It is thin yet very durable. Chevro, morocco and other types of durable and thin leather are made from it. The indisputable advantage of goat skin is water resistance, which, by the way, cannot be said about sheepskin. Goat skin is used for sewing shoes, clothes, upholstery, haberdashery.
Elite varieties are also used, such as the skin of a crocodile, python, monitor lizard, stingray, eel or pike. Products from these skins are very expensive and reach several thousand dollars.
- Smooth matte. The most widespread and popular
- Embossed. Embossing achieves imitation of expensive types of leather, for example, alligator or eel.
- Sanded and varnished. Usually used for shoes and haberdashery products, in particular, for bags.
- Perforated. Basically, leather with this structure is used for accessories.
For the manufacture of high-quality outerwear, leather is used that has undergone extensive training, from tanning to the work of designers and tailoring masters. In this case, only those skins that do not have defects and damage are selected.
Only due to this, at the output, you can get beautiful, light and stylish clothes that will not only last a long time, but will cheer you up.