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, July 25, 2012
The majority of leather hides are derived from cow skin. Cows are large domesticated beasts that are used for predominantly for their milk and meat. Cow skins that are later produced into leather hides are skins removed from animals that have already given their lives for the meat industry. Cow hide or rug is an ethical choice as it is a natural product that would otherwise have been discarded. Cow skins are produced into leather hides by leather manufacturers and tanners and then sold for a range of purposes.
Once removed from the animal, the skins are subject to the tanning process. Leather tanneries treat the skins to prevent decomposition and transform them into useable leather hide. Leather is used in a variety of ways including the production of fashionable clothing, durable flooring, shoes and quality upholstery leather. Only the highest quality skins are left in their more natural state and sold as beautiful cow hide rugs.
Cow hide rugs feature heavily in design magazines as are seen as a timeless addition to a room’s décor. Cow hide rugs are a popular choice for interior designers as they provide a plethora of design choice. They entire rug can be colored in just one hue, or dyed to simulate the look of tiger, leopard and even zebra skin. Left in their natural state, cow hide rugs are unique in that each animal’s markings are different. Whichever style of rug is chosen, you can be sure it will make a real statement and create a focal point within the room.
In addition to looking good, cow hide rugs are a sensible choice for flooring as they are naturally durable. The beauty of cow hide will stand up to heavy foot traffic and in most cases; cow hide rugs will look even more appealing as they wear. Light vacuuming will remove surface dirt and dust from your cow hide rug and should be ample in maintaining its cleanliness and appeal. Any liquids spills should be soaked up immediately with a dry cloth. If further cleaning is required, one should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional. With proper maintenance and care, a cow hide rug will outlive other flooring choices both in practicality and style.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Crocodile and alligator leather is most commonly used in the production of hand bags, wallets, shoes and belts. Due to its rarity, leather derived from the skins of these reptiles has long been associated with luxury designers as a sign of wealth and stature.
Alligator hides are considered to be the more luxurious of the two. This is primarily because alligator hide is softer and more pliable than crocodile leather. The pattern on the alligator’s skin often presents as more even and symmetrical, and has a smoother feel overall. Alligator skin is highly sort after and this is indicative in the price of alligator skin; in most cases it will cost you more than crocodile skin.
Largely, crocodile skin is considered inferior to alligator skin. Not only are the crocodile skins smaller, but the also produce stiffer leather when tanned. The pattern of crocodile skin is not as symmetrical and given that the crocodile is generally the smaller of the two reptiles, less leather is acquired per skin.
Crocodile skin will produce more desirable and higher quality leather on very rare occasions. The skin of both the ‘Nile Crocodile’ and the Australian Salt Water Crocodile will surpass alligator hides when tanned correctly. This is mostly due the rarity of these reptiles; in particular the Australian Salt Water Crocodile is a protected species. Many other species of crocodile are endangered and it’s highly illegal for these animals to be hunted for their skins.
Given the scarcity of such reptiles and the high cost associated with their skins, leather manufacturers have taken to embossing other leather hides to simulate the look and feel of alligator and crocodile skins. Embossing refers to the stamping of leather hides (generally cow hide) with the pattern of alligator and crocodile leather. This means that the look can be achieved at a fraction of the price. It also results in a more evenly distributed pattern. In addition to the embossing, the leather hide can be dyed in an assortment of colors. Dyeing will give the buyer more choice regarding your décor as well as a more even distribution of color.
Generally speaking, alligator skin will produce a leather hide that is more appealing than crocodile skin. Alligators are larger, producing more leather per beast. Alligators are not endangered and therefore in larger supply. When tanning and finishing processes are complete, alligator skin produces soft, smooth and pliable leather that lends itself well to the production of leather accessories. The naturally occurring pattern of alligator skin is more regular and proportioned resulting in an even design.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Most of the upholsterers choose to work with cowhide, and that is not only because it is the most popular one, but it is the easiest one to work with as well. Entering a realm of exotic leather hides can present itself as a bit of a challenge and most upholsters view it as a dangerous zone, since exotic hides are that much expensive and can be difficult to work with. However, for those who dare to work with them, they can bring a lot of fun into the whole upholstery leather story, as they allow upholsters to express their creativity. Furthermore, they can be very rewarding in terms of finances. There is, however, certain information that everyone should know when considering the work of exotics
First of all, you should keep it in mind that every exotic hide has its own character that suits particular person the best. For example, the tradition lovers should rather opt for ostrich leather hide as it provides the much sought texture as well as luxurious look to the car. The favorite of the motorcyclists, ostrich leather hide has become much cheaper thanks to the ostrich ranches that have become popular in the recent years. Whereas those who are on the lookout for the status symbol would rather opt for alligator leather hides instead. Of course, there will be times when customers will have very unique and unusual ideas, which might even baffle the very experienced upholsters.
On the other hand, for those who are still indecisive about what to choose, there is a myriad of other exotic leather hides out there, starting with snakes, alligator, elephant all the way to eel, caiman, zebra, and kangaroo. The number of different exotic leather hides seems to be endless.
Secondly, upholsters who are new to exotic hides should know that not all of the types are difficult to work with. Take for instance, elephant or sharkskin leather; they are both easy to work with, versatile, and easy to maintain (require only the massage with leather conditioner once in a while) as well. On the other hand, there are those leather hides, such as stingray and caiman, that will make inexperienced upholsters second guess their decision to work with upholstery leather.
Most upholstery leather experts advise to watch out for stingray, as it has a hard surface that would break sewing needles more often than not. When sewing stingray, many upholsters would opt for the diamond-tip needles, the decision that is bound to end up in a bunch of broken needles. Instead, opt for the titanium needles that are sure to finish the job. In addition to using titanium needles, another tool can be quite useful in order to make straight stitch lines on the bumpy surface of stingray, and that is a Dremel tool. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them are crucial in working with upholstery leather.
On the other hand, when dealing with caiman hides (a South American crocodilian), opt for the smaller pieces rather than larger ones. Stick to the 16-inch wide caiman skin maximum, as everything bigger will certainly destroy your needles. Namely, the caiman skin has the characteristic to become thicker as the caiman grows, so if you want your needles intact, you should opt for the smaller pieces of it. You have to be really experienced in order to deal with upholstery leather of the caiman.
When talking about where to find these exotic leather hides, you should do a thorough research. It is best to go with the leather hide suppliers who do business according to the regulations stated by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, as these suppliers are doing their business legally, and they are committed to species conservation.
When you have chosen the renowned exotic hide supplier, you should keep in mind that you are in this partnership for a long time and that it should start well right from the beginning. Number 1 thing you should NOT be doing is asking for the sample of every possible exotic leather hide in all colors possible, this is sure to result in the bad relationship, as the most upholstery leather suppliers would be reluctant to cut several hundred dollars worth hide only for the little sample. Wouldn’t you?
Moreover, try waiting for a project, before going all about asking all sorts of questions on particular exotic hide. In addition, be aware that the prices change according to the demand. The principles of demand and supply are the same everywhere, even in upholstery leather business. Logically.
Keep it in mind that economic situation and the crisis also reflect the upholstery leather business. Demand for particular exotic hides often changes. Currently, stingray is the most sought exotic hide. As it comes in a variety of different colors, it will certainly satisfy everyone’s taste. Moreover, it is famous for its durability and as it is cheaper than other exotic hides, it has become a favorite of many people.
Though alligator leather hides are something to desire for, people, due to their economic situations, rather opt for the caiman, as it provides the look of the alligator at the affordable price.
When it comes to trends that are hot this year in the upholstery leather industry, renowned experts advise that you have to have one of these three looks: varnished, metallic or antique.
For people who don’t have much money to spend on the interior of their car, but would like to have a car interior that appears to be luxurious, there is cowhide that can be embossed with different patterns, all to their likings ( for example cowhide embossed to look like alligator leather etc.)
Whereas, the very rich customers can have exotic leather hides that are injected with platinum and gold.
When it comes to upselling exotic hides, the best advice is to get acquitted with the customer’s budget. It is crucial to offer him/her something that is within their budget. If you offer something out of their reach, this sale is doomed to fail. But if you know the budget and offer something that is acceptable to them and appealing, then you are a step closer to making a sale. And if you estimate that they can afford a real exotic and unique look, then it is time to offer some rather pricy and exclusive upholstery leather. After all, the majority of the exotic hide customers are really wealthy people in search of some uniqueness and individuality.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The type of tanning method used will depend on the intended use of the leather. There are three common types of tanning and also a number of finishing processes.
Thicker and heavier leather hides are the result of vegetable tanning. The color and type of leather that is produced by vegetable tanning is impacted by which tannins are present in the tanning solution. These tannins are predominately derived from chestnut and quebracho trees. The collagen in the leather hide absorbs the vegetable tannins and increases its rigidity making it a great choice for shoe sole leather.
After being stretched on frames and agitated for up to nine days the potency of the tanning solution is boosted each day. Hides are then put into huge vats with the tanning solution. They are left to soak for three to six weeks.
The hides are then thoroughly rinsed and again saturated with tanning solution as well as fish oil, and left to soak for five days. The processes are repeated so much to ensure that the tannins penetrate the hides completely and evenly.
Now the leather hides are stretched onto frames and subjected to a hot water rinse, alkaline, acids and cold water rinse. Once this process is completed, the hides are stiff and fragile. This will be resolved during the finishing process.
The chrome tanning process produces lighter leathers and is sometimes used to ready the leather hides for vegetable tanning. Using chromium sulfate, chrome tanning is a more efficient form of tanning, taking less time and producing a softer final product.
Chrome tanning has two methods known as the one-bath method and the two-bath method. The one-bath method is the more widely used technique. In this process large rotating vats are filled with the chrome liquor and the pickled skins. The tanning liquor consists mostly of chromic sulfate but other chemicals are also included to aid the tanning process.
When tanning is complete the skins are rinsed thoroughly and given a light alkaline treatment. Again the skins are washed to remove any salt that may remain.
Glutaraldehyde tanning is the quickest of all the tanning processes and produces high grade leather that can withstand alkaline. This makes glutaraldehyde tanned leather a popular choice for work boots in industries that are subject to alkaline based products.
Finishing processes refer to the dyeing, drying, embossing and smoothing of the leather. Restoring the naturals oils lost during the tanning process, known as ‘stuffing’ or ‘fat liquoring’ is achieved by soaking the leather in big drums of oils until it has been absorbed.
Depending on what the leather tannery desires the leather hides can be dyed or treated with other chemicals at this stage. This will largely depend on the intended use of the hide whether it be for clothing or upholstery leather.
The leather hides now need to be dried thoroughly. A machine with rollers forces excess moisture from the hides, before they are either hung or left to dry flat naturally. Depending on the type of wholesale leather hide required, embossing, sanding and buffing can now take place.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Reminiscent of the middle ages, this design gives a new twist to mid century English charm. With the emblematic Fleur de Lys adding a subtle softness to the pattern.
The Heraldic design can add a touch of class to any interior !!
Monday, November 1, 2010
There is nothing mellow about the brilliant yellow accessories for Spring 2011. This sunny, cheerful hue adds a citrus pop to any accessory classification.
This season the ageless fabrics take a more cheerful and versatile turn as we’ll find them tinted in the endless shades of the color palette.
The Spring/Summer 2011 leather fashion trend makes no exception as the public will have the chance to see this fabric in classy dark shades as well as the other popular color trends of the season.
Leather is no longer associated with dark romance and Goth fashion instead it takes a more versatile and futuristic turn. The ambition of designers to break with the tradition of classy shades and designs can be easily identified in the Spring/Summer 2010 leather fashion trend.