Leather- The Expensive Yet Perfect Material
Leather is durable and highly flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skin. One of the most common raw material is cattle hide, which could be produced at manufacturing scales ranging from the artisan to the modern industrial scale. Many articles can be made from leather, which includes footwear, automobile seats, clothing, book bindings, and bags. They come in a wide range of styles that can be decorated in a wide range of techniques. Many varieties of leather come into the picture with the level of grades available:
Top grain leather– another layer of the hide, also known as the grain, features finer and more densely packed fibers, resulting in a lot of strength and durability. There are many types of top grain leather, depending on the thickness of the leather:
Full-grain leather: which contains the entire grain layer, without the removal of the surface. Considered one of the highest quality leathers from which a lot of furniture and footwear is made. It is mostly finished with a lot of soluble aniline dye.
Corrected grain leather is one of the leathers that have a surface which is subjected to a lot of treatments to create a more uniform appearance, which includes buffing or sanding away flaws in the grain rather than dying and embossing the surface of the fabric.
Nubuck is top-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side of the fabric as well as gives the small size of short protein fibers producing a very velvet-like surface.
Split leather is the part left when the top grain leather is separated from the hide. It is then split into a middle split, flesh split.
Bicast leather has a vinyl layer added to the surface and embossed to give an appearance of the grain, which might make it look slightly stiffer than top-grain leather but does have a better texture.
Patent leather is the leather that is given a remarkably high gloss finish by the addition of a coating.
Suede is the leather made from the underside of the split to create an extremely soft as well as napped finish, which is made of skins of smaller animals, which gives it a very soft texture.
Bonded leather is one of the materials that use leather scraps, which are shredded and bonded together into a fabric mesh/ changing the number of leather fibers in the mix to vary from 10% to 90%, which could affect the properties of the product.
Most of the leather made nowadays is made from cattle hides, which are mostly 65% of the leather products. Rest comes from sheep, goats as well as pigs. Some people also make articles from horse hides. Leather does leave an environmental impact, which includes the carbon footprint of rearing of cattle, the use of chemicals in the tanning process, as well as all the air pollution called in the transformation process.