The Nature of Leather
From the earliest civilizations right up to the present time, leather has been held in high esteem by people throughout the world. Supporting this fact are the large number of leather artifacts which archaeologists have unearthed and the frequent mention of leather and tanning in the pages of recorded history (See: "Leather - Through the Ages")
Man's high regard for leather is due in no small part to its unique combination of desirable attributes. First, it is important to note that leather is a "by-product" of the meat industry and, as such, involves making economic use of what would otherwise be a waste commodity. Secondly, it has an inherent natural beauty which creates an aesthetic appeal which man-made or synthetic imitations lack.
The physical properties of leather vary considerably depending upon the type and quality of both the skin itself and the tanning process. It is possible however to find much that all leathers have in common. Relative to virtually all man-made textiles, leather is very strong and has a high resistance level to tears and punctures. The comfort provided by most leather goods is due in part to leather's ability to combine breathing and insulating properties which adapt to the particular situation. For example, if outside temperatures are warm, the body will began to generate more heat than is needed and start to perspire. If a leather garment is worn, it has sufficient porosity and moisture transmitting properties to enable the moisture on the skin to evaporate. This in turn produces a cooling effect that continuously works toward preventing an undue buildup of body heat.
During the winter season, the body seldom generates enough heat to create much perspiration. There being no moisture to remove, there is obviously no cooling effect. Instead, now we have a situation where the millions of tiny air spaces between the leather fibers provide insulation by curbing the movement of heat away from the body. Moreover, leather's dense fiber structure acts to keep sharp winds from reaching the body.
Perhaps the most unique property of leather is its molding/shaping ability. Shoes, boots, gloves and garments fashioned in leather inevitably become remarkably form fitting in a brief period of time. This is a result of the flexibility and elasticity of the fiber structure. If held in a particular shape, or worn by a specific form for an extended period of time it tends to remain in this shape. As you know, this feature makes the product all the more personalized and comfortable with the passage of time.
Strength, capacity to absorb and transmit moisture, breathing and insulating, molding/shaping ability and the incomparable esthetic beauty of a truly natural product; all point to one conclusion: leather's better - naturally!BACK TO HOME MORE ABOUT LEATHER
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