In ancient times, the skins of animals were used as a cover for the human body and also to create clothes and other items. In the present times, this industry that uses animal skin to manufacture products is known as the leather industry.
It was during the Roman Empire that possessing leather items started to be looked upon as a sign of status and wealth which is also observed in today’s society. During the 1960s leather items became an important part of the wardrobe of every fashionista. Moreover, Leather jackets became very much in demand after many popular personalities had started to wear them.
How is leather manufactured?
One of the reasons leather is expensive could be because of its manufacturing process. Leather is usually made by treating the animal skins chemically, in order to prevent them from decaying. The leather production process includes preparation, tanning, and crusting.
During the preparatory stage, the skins of the animals are first soaked in a chemical solution for a while and are passed through a machine to remove the hairs. During the tanning process the chemical composition inside the leather changes which makes it durable for a long period of time. This is usually done by using certain chemical agents.
The chemicals used in the tanning process
There are numerous chemicals that are used for the tanning process and depending on the chemical used the type of tanning differs from one another. The most ancient type of tanning is vegetable tanning, which uses natural extracts from trees, shrubs, and wood.
The process which uses trivalent chromium is called Chrome tanning and it is also the process that is used most in today’s times. Tanning leathers using aldehyde compounds is called aldehyde tanned leather. It is also one of the major methods of chrome-free tanning.
What is the leather used for?
There are many uses for leather and related accessories. In the 1920s leather was used in the manufacture of fighter bomber jackets and certain rulers in the ancient times had even introduced currency made up of leather. Nowadays it is mostly used in the manufacture of clothes, footwear, sports equipment, and other products like ladies’ leather wallets and handbags.
These handbags are said to last for a longer period of time if used properly. Leather luggage has also become very popular after major brands had included them as products and also due to its durability. The flexible and durable qualities of leather make it very much suitable to be used in the production of sports equipment. This material is used in the production of cricket balls, baseballs, and leather suits which are worn by motorcycle racers to protect themselves from injury.
The timeless material called leather
Since this industry is huge, there is a high chance for every individual to have at least one item that is made up of leather. This also makes this an industry with a lot of opportunities. All of these point out the fact that leather, which comes with more durability and flexibility is actually timeless.