EMBOSSED LEATHER, UPHOLSTERY LEATHER, LEATHER HIDES
Specializing in embossed and upholstery leather design and distribution, we are able to
supply you with an infinite array of colors and textures.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Since prehistoric times it seems that leather has always been a highly sort after commodity. Wild cats, buffalo, hairy mammoths, bears and reptiles were hunted for both their meat as a food source and for their skins. During the caveman era, animal skins were used primarily for clothing such as loin cloths and coats to keep warm and dry. Skins were also used to provide shelter from the elements and as carpets, rugs and bedding in their homes. Shoes were also made from the skins to provide foot protection while hunting. Animal skins were even used for decorative purposes, and were seen as signs of stature and standing within their communities.
Dating back to 1300 BC, Egyptians also recognized the benefits of animal skins, highly sort after for its flexibility, durability and versatility. The use of animal skins spread through Europe with the Greeks and Romans relying heavily on the product for many purposes.
Over time and through trial and error, ways of preserving the skins and prolonging decay were developed. Skins were treated with smoke and bark extracts to improve the durability and softness of the leather. The tannins in bark were known to act as an astringent, drawing moisture out and contracting pores on the skins. This was used for medicinal purposes as well as being applied as a technique in protecting the animal skins from decomposition. This type of bark tanning was a long and arduous process that would often take many months, even up to a year.
The creation and production of leather hides must be recognized as one of the oldest industries know to mankind. As the use of leather increased in popularity in the 1400’s, a leather tannery could be found anywhere that man had colonized. Even in these early stages of civilization, the Europeans were aware of the benefits of using lime to de-hair the skins and remove excess flesh. The liming process is still used in modern leather tanneries today.
Slowly but surely, through experimentation the process of making the leather hides improved and became more sophisticated. Production also became more efficient, lessening the need for so many individual tanneries. As business and industry grew during the late 1800’s wholesale leather hides were sold according to their weight. Prices soared along with the popularity of leather which was manufactured into clothing, saddles and bridles.
Today, leather is still a popular material, admired for its natural beauty, strength and resilience. The soft durability of upholstery leather is highly sort after in the furniture industry, as well as being an iconic material of the fashion world.