Leather comes from the hide of animals such as the cow, pig, sheep, crocodile, alligator, snake, and kangaroo. Exotic leather can even come from animals such as the stingray, ostrich, eel, or lizards. Producing leather involves a number of processes, including preparation, tanning, and the final drying stage. Explore the fascinating history of this natural product to appreciate it to the fullest. And after spending money on leather products, learn recommendations for caring for leather to keep it supple and beautiful.
Ancient people made leather from the animals they hunted. These people may have also butchered their livestock to use the skins for leather. One of the main appeals of leather is its strength, making it suitable for a variety of purposes. Leather skins were used for clothing, tools, ornamentation, blankets, and tents. Ancient Egyptians even used it for buckets, bottles, military equipment, and shrouds to bury their dead.
Ancient leather had some problems due to rudimentary processing techniques used during this time. Leather decayed in warm temperatures, and it became very stiff in cold temperatures. To solve these problems, people learned to rub animal fats into the hide. This process was the beginning of leather tanning. As leather processing techniques have evolved, this material has become easier to work with and more pleasant to use.
Types and Uses of Leather
Numerous types of leather exist, suitable for different uses. Types of leather are based on the animal from which the leather originates. Cabretta leather comes from sheepskin, and this type of leather is often used for gloves. Calfskin leather is exceptionally soft and supple. This type of leather is typically used to make gloves and boots. Nubuck leather comes from cow hide.
Nubuck leather receives special sanding to give the surface a subtle nap. Pigskin leather has the advantage of both strength and softness, making it ideal for boots, wallets, gloves, and saddles. Rolled leather might be made from lambskin or calfskin. The cylindrical shape of rolled leather makes it suitable for items with straps, such as halters.