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Leather Hides Knowledge Book – Five types of leather

Leather Hides Knowledge Book – Five types of leather


Compared with women's accessories, men's accessories are relatively simple. In addition to clothes and shoes, the classics are probably glasses, watches, ties, pens, wallets and other small leather goods, belts, briefcases, cuffs and needles. Among the few accessories, wallets, belts, briefcases, etc. can be combined into one big category. Because they are basically made of leather, they are collectively called leather goods.
 Although different types of leather may look similar, they have a difference in grade. Good leather makes things last longer, the more you use the more flavor, while the low-grade leather may need to be thrown away in a few years. When purchasing leather goods, the leather grade can be roughly judged by the name of the leather.  
 Full-Grain Leather
This is the highest quality leather, often referred to as the "top layer leather" in the country. It means that the leather is not treated with any external process after tanning, and only allowed to be colored or oiled. Because it does not allow any modification or treatment of the leather surface, the leather has the highest quality requirements for the raw material, and because it does not cause any damage to the original structure of the leather surface, the durability of the leather is also the best. Most of the big brands in the leather goods industry and independent brands that have their own requirements will choose this kind of leather.  
 Top-Grain Leather
The next grade is called Top-Grain Leather, which is also the top layer of leather, but the surface is sanded to remove blemishes from the skin. This skin is the most common quality leather and is used in a wide variety of leather products. Since the skin layer is treated, it is softer and more convenient to mold than the former one, but the leather strength and gas permeability are degraded for the same reason.  
This is actually a type of leather, commonly known as suede. The main source of this leather is thinned and layered in the Full-Grain Leather leatherning process. The lower layer of leather is made by sanding and dyeing. There is also a suede called Nubuck, which uses the calf leather directly to the outer surface, and the quality is higher. Because it no longer has the surface structure of the top layer, Suede is softer, but it is thinner than the top layer, low in strength and basically resistant to water and oil. It is usually used for some special effects and cannot be replaced by other types, which is often used as  an alternative leather form.  
 Genuine Leather
This is the "leather" in the popular sense. The first three leathers are also natural material surfaces, but from the beginning of this level, although it is called leather, it is not a natural material. This skin is the same source as Suede, and it is also the lower layer of leather layered, but this skin artificially mimics Top-Grain Leather on its surface to make a film, although it looks more like, but it is not as strong and breathable as other three kinds of leather. So if you want to buy high quality leather goods, please don't choose it.  
 Bonded Leather
This is basically the worst skin, usually called recycled leather or artificial leather. Specific practice is to break up the scraps in the leather making process and then press them together with the chemical fiber material. This type of leather material can be made into a variety of patterns because the surface is not real leather. This type of skin is strictly not used for clothing, and can only be used to make some cheap leather goods. However, in recent years, higher quality microfiber skin has appeared as a kind of synthetic leather, which is excellent in softness and air permeability. Therefore, although in the eyes of the people, synthetic leather is difficult to be elegant, but with its relatively high cost-effectiveness and formability, it is still favored by many people.  

The preparation of leather is actually a process of denaturation of proteins in hides by various means to transform them from leather to leather. Generally speaking, this process involves the following steps:
1. Peeling
This is the starting point for tanning. After the animals are slaughtered, the skin is peeled off and transported to a specialized leather processing plant. In order to prevent decay and deterioration during transportation, it is usually treated by salting the raw hides. After the raw skin is shipped to the processing plant, it is first immersed in a large tank to remove dirt from the surface and wash away the salt contained in the original skin.
2. Tanning
Tanning is the most important part of the entire tanning process, and it is also a part of the chemical transformation from leather to leather. After the cleaning, the raw skin is first subjected to meat removal, and the skin is scraped off and then immersed in a solution containing calcium and sulfur for hair removal. The pretreated skin is soaked in a jar containing tincture, the leather changes at this point, and the original perishable protein becomes a stable leather material. According to the different tinctures, the leather can be divided into two types: vegetable tanned leather and chrome tanned leather. The tanned leather is dehydrated and dried, and it can be said that the basic leatherworking process is over.
3. Post processing
Depending on the end use purpose of the leather, the leather will be subjected to different types of post-treatment before leaving the factory. For thinning and delamination to obtain the required thickness, the leather is colored and oiled, and the leather surface is sanded, hot pressed, re-colored, and the like. After this step, all kinds of leather we usually see are produced.
Men's leather goods can be in the classic style leather goods which is used in formal wear. The characteristics are that the style is low-key and conservative, mostly black and brown, the leather is generally thin, and the workmanship is more meticulous; it can also be retro and tool-style leather goods, and the style is rough. The leather is thicker, and more wax threads are used for sewing. The leather edge treatment is not used or less oil is used, and the colors are various, mainly in the original skin color, yellow color and brown color.
In the field of vintage leather goods, there are mainly the following types of high quality leather:
- Veg-Tanned Leather
The famous vegetable tanned leather is named for its tannins extracted from plant extracts. The vegetable tanned leather is characterized by thicker and harder leather, good ductility and breathability. It can be easily shaped and engraved after being wetted, so this leather is widely used in footwear, belts and wallets. , backpacks and other leather goods of various sizes.
Another characteristic of vegetable tanned leather is that it can be easily colored by water-based dyes, but the coloring effect is not as bright as that of chrome tanned leather, so the dyeing is mainly black, brown and yellow. Compared to dyed vegetable tanned leather, I prefer to take a vegetable tanned leather of primary color and raise it slowly.
The cultivation of vegetable tanned leather is like the color drop of the original cow. It means that the color of vegetable tanned leather will gradually become deeper during use. The original white tanned leather will slowly turn into tan, except for black. The color of the dyed vegetable tanned leather will also be deepened.
- British Bridle Leather
Strictly speaking, this is actually a classification of vegetable tanned leather. The difference between it and ordinary vegetable tanned leather is that it is repeatedly polished with beeswax on the surface of the leather after the end of the coloring. It is the waterproof technology used for making the harness. The characteristics of this kind of leather are that there is a waxy surface on the surface when it is made into leather goods, and there is a layer of white, which is polished with the gradual waxing, so it will have more and more bright effects, so it has also got a lot of Leather lovers are favored.
- Shell Cordovan
Finally, the famous Cordova skin, also known as horse hip skin. As the name suggests, this is a kind of horse skin, and it is leather taken from the horse's buttocks. Generally speaking, a horse can only get two pieces of leather with a diameter of about 50cm, so there is no big material, usually used for making shoes and small. Leather goods, occasionally belts, but the leather itself is demanding and too expensive.
The rarity of Cordovan is that it is the highest density, most flexible and most wear-resistant part of the horse. Because of the highest density, Cordovan is a counter-tanning, that is, his painted surface is actually the fleshy side, and the reverse side is the original outer surface. Also because of the counter-production, Cordovan leather is rich in oil and is made into a leather product with a mirror-like reflection of its own patent leather.

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