How can you tell if someone is a leather goods enthusiast? In this post, we identify 4 signs that to spot one. You might even be one yourself!
Are You A Leather Goods Enthusiast?
Leather is a material made from the skin of an animal. In most leather products, cow leather is used due to the demand from the food industry and the sheer size of the animal. Other types of leather include those from sheep, goat and reptiles.
Due to its durability, leather is widely used in many products: from horse saddles, to clothes and footwear and small leather goods. Exotic leathers from crocodiles, alligators and snake are also used in the luxury market due to its rarity and aesthetics.
If you own leather goods, have you taken a close look at them and wonder what type of leather they are made of, what the processes are behind making the leather good and why are differently types of leather goods priced differently? Are you always attracted to the leather section of departmental stores, or fancy good artisanal designs [link]? Do you always smell your leather goods? Chances are you might be a leather goods enthusiast. Let’s find out if you really are one!
Sign #1: You know the different grades of leather – “Genuine” leather does not mean real!
Raw animal hide can be made into generally four grades: full grain leather, top grain leather,, genuine leather, and bonded leather. Being a leather enthusiast, you would know that full grain leather is of the best quality as they are the top layer of the animal skin. Full grain leather [link] is the most resistant to wear as the grains are closer to each other. Genuine leather is one of the poorer quality of leather as they are generally the bottom layer of the animal skin, where the grains are further apart which reduces the resistance of the leather significantly. In some products, the “genuine leather” stamp is not certifying that the authenticity of the leather but indicating that the leather is of poorer quality (bet some of you didn’t know that!).
Of course, in addition to the grade of leather, the quality of leather is also largely dependent on the treatment process of the leather.
Sign #2: You know what is vegetable tanned leather – and you love the smell
Raw hides has to undergo a tanning process to treat the animal skin, preventing it from degrading, and also to apply a myriad of colours. This processes turns raw animal skins into durable leather. As a leather enthusiast, you would be familiar with the term vegetable-tanned leather.
Vegetable tanning is a natural and environmentally friendly process, using natural tannins like tree barks from mangrove, chestnut, oak, etc. (do you know they used animal brains in the olden days?!). This is a traditional tanning method that has existed for centuries and it creates leather that possesses a natural, woody, and earthy scent. As compared to the alternative of chrome-tanning, vegetable tanned leather requires a longer production time and the process is handled by highly skilled craftsmen. That’s why leather goods made in full grain, vegetable tanned leather can be sold at a premium.
Sign #3: You Started Leathercrafting As A Hobby
You took up leathercrafting as a hobby and to express yourself artistically. The hobby requires a blend of mental and physical focus, and the experiences it creates is truly unique. Others might have toyed with the idea of making their own leather goods, but you have already started on that path by attending local leathercrafting workshops.
Sign #4: You know the “Leather Lingo”
This is a dead giveaway that you are a hardcore leather goods enthusiast – you speak “Leather” fluently. You know the following terms like the back of your hand.
- Chrome Tanned
- Aniline Finish
- Oil Tanned
Do you have more interesting ways to tell if someone is a leather goods enthusiast? Are you also in leather goods and leather crafting? We’d love to hear from you to share our knowledge and generate design ideas! You can contact our leather artisans at Hides and Thread through our website at https://www.hidesandthread.com/contact-us/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.