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
Leather hides are animal skins that have been tanned by a leather manufacturer. The tanning process begins with washing the skins and treating them to prevent decomposition. The last step in the tanning process refers to the ‘finishing’ of the leather hides. The leather tannery finishes the leather by dyeing, pigmenting, embossing and sealing the leather hides.
Leather dyes are primarily used to change the natural color of the leather hide. Dyes consist of small molecules that are transparent. Dyeing the leather hides will also decrease the visibility of any imperfections or color variation that occurs naturally in leather hides. Leather hides are very porous and respond well to dyeing. The dyeing process begins with the leather hides being completely submersed in large vats filled with the dyeing solution. The dye seeps deep into the fibers of the hide, coloring it right through so that is the same color front to back. Dyes will enhance the natural look of leather hide, giving it an even tone, whilst still allowing the natural grain to shine through.
Dyed leather hides, also known as ‘unfinished leather’ are susceptible to transference. This means that the dye may move from the leather in certain circumstances. For example, if you were to wipe dyed leather with a damp cloth you will see some of the dye transferred onto your cloth. Furthermore, any liquid that is spilt on dyed leather will leave a mark when dried. Direct sunlight will also cause discoloration and fading to leather hides that are dyed. Although unfinished leather requires a little more care, its natural beauty and luxurious feel is unmatched by any other upholstery fabric; only the highest quality leather hides are dyed in this manner.
Most leathers used in upholstery undergo an additional process where a pigment coating is applied. Rather than soaking into the leather hide, this pigment will adhere to the surface of the leather. Pigment coating will not fade despite high levels of sun exposure and will not absorb liquid in the event of a spill. The pigment coating covers well and binds to the leather hide removing the possibility of transference. Bonding the pigment coating to the leather hide so that it doesn’t transfer is a process carried out at the leather tannery. It is a specialized art unique to the leather manufacturers. What’s left is opaque colored leather known as ‘finished leather’.
It is possible to apply a pigment coating to ‘unfinished leather’ but not the other way around. Once pigment coating has bonded to the leather hide, there is no going back. Be wary of leather workers that says they can re-dye your leather. Be sure that they are knowledgeable in comparing pigments and dyes before allowing them to work on your upholstery leather.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
It is common knowledge that genuine quality leather hides are derived from animal skins. This fact can evoke thoughts of animal rights and the treatment of those animals whose skin is transformed into natural leather hide. Most commonly it is the skins of cattle, pig and deer that are transformed in leather hides by leather manufacturers and transformed into high quiality emboossed leather.
Animal skins that are produced into leather hides by leather manufacturers are by products of the world’s meat industry. This means that the animal has already given its life to feed our growing population and the skins are produced into leather hides rather than wasted. These leather hides are then made into all sorts of products such as upholstery leather, clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. These genuine leather products can be purchased with the knowledge that they are made from a natural material that would have otherwise been discarded.
The origin of leather itself is becoming known as an ethically sound choice for upholstery leather and clothing; however it is the actual tanning process that has recently come under scrutiny by environmentalists. The process of tanning comprises of several stages:
· Preparation involves washing, salt curing and rinsing.
· De-hairing refers to removing any remaining flesh and hair using chemicals.
· Salting and Curing as well as sulphuric acid baths are used to further soften the leather hides.
· Tanning methods include vegetable tanning which uses tannin derived from tree bark. Mineral tanning uses chemicals and minerals (most commonly chromium).
· Finishing the leather hides may include oiling, sealing, embossing, dyeing, and/or waxing.
Environmental concerns arise from the tanning process because of the high usage of power and water as well as how chemicals are used and disposed of.
Pakistan stands as one of the world’s largest producers of tanned leather and was the subject of a study completed in 2008. The study uncovered wasteful water usage, incorrect disposal of polluted water, air pollution and high quantities of solid waste.
On the up side, the study raised awareness which resulted in a number of eco-friendly tanneries being constructed. By understanding what the negative environmental implications are, these tanneries are committed to reducing the carbon footprint made by the leather tanning industry.
As consumers we can get behind companies that support these environmentally sound tanneries. Before making a leather purchase, a little research could go a long way in supporting ethical businesses and companies. Where a designer or manufacturer buys their leather may help you in deciding if it’s a purchase you wish to make. Getting behind companies that use sustainable leather in the creation of their products will ensure that you are making a stand for the environment while making a statement with your upholstered leather furniture, clothing and accessories.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Purchasing any new furniture for your home can be intimidating, particularly a new lounge suite or sofa. You must first consider the size and style that you require, as well as the all important budget. Purchasing a quality leather sofa should be considered an investment. If you do your research and make an educated choice, it is an investment that will provide you with returns for a life time. To make an informed decision, one must first understand the types of upholstery leather used in the production of furniture.
There are a variety of leather types that are used to upholster furniture. Aniline leather is produced using the highest quality leather hides. It is soaked in a transparent dye which evens out the natural color of the hide and results in a supple and luxurious leather sofa. Aniline leather has superior breathability making it comfortable in all temperatures.
Semi-aniline upholstery leather is similar in that it is treated with the same transparent dye. In addition to the transparent dye, semi-aniline upholstery leather is treated with a light sealant that will help to repel marks and stains. This sealant does compromise the leather’s softness slightly however, it increases the leather durability and its ability to withstand general wear and tear.
Coated leather refers to leather hides that have been dyed a particular color. Lower quality hides are perfect candidates for dyeing as it masks natural imperfections that may otherwise be seen. Most commonly, it is this coated leather that people think of when referring to upholstery leather. The dyeing process will give the leather hide a deep and even color with either gloss or matt finish.
As the name suggests, faux leather is a synthetic fabric that has been created to simulate the look of natural leather hides. You may come across faux leathers that look very much like genuine upholstery leather however it is the feel of faux leather that exposes it as unauthentic.
Unlike synthetic fabrics, genuine upholstery leather requires ongoing care and maintenance to retain its natural beauty and supple feel. Over time perspiration and oils found naturally in our skin can leave leather upholstery looking a little dull. Light regular cleaning will be more successful in keeping general marks and discoloration at bay. Liquid spills should be mopped up using a dry cloth, and cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to patch test any over the counter leather cleaners on an unseen part of your sofa. Exposure to direct sunlight can cause leather to discolor and/or crack and conditioners can be purchased to help limit this possibility.
Purchasing a leather sofa is a good long term investment provided that you know what you are buying. Quite often in the retail world, you get what you pay for. If your budget allows, investing in a sofa that has been covered in genuine leather hide will provide decades of use. With proper care and maintenance, there is no reason why quality upholstery leathers should not last a life time.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Embossing by definition means a pattern or design that is raised from its surface. Alternatively, debossing is a design or pattern created by making indentations into a surface. Embossing can be done on a number of materials including most types of metal, animal skins and leather hide, paper and plastics.
Natural leather hides can be enhanced by embossing and turned into many products. Upholstery leather is commonly embossed with a natural cow hide print to give the leather a more even and uniformed design. Bags, belts and shoes can be produced with leather embossed with crocodile and even ostrich print. Words and letters can even be embossed into the leather, for example; company logos and monograms. Whichever print is chosen; embossing not only enhances the look of the natural leather, but also adds an element depth and texture to the product.
Although embossing may be considered a creative and artistic term, there are a number of everyday objects that are embossed. Anything that has raised words or pictures can be considered embossed. Think about the text on your credit card, company letter heads and even some patterned toilet papers! As with the examples above, embossing is done for either aesthetic or practical purposes. In the case of credit cards, the letters and numbers are embossed so that the important information will not be rubbed away with repeated use as it would be if the surface was completely flat. It is this durability that sets embossing apart from other effects such as printing or engraving.
Embossing machines vary slightly depending on what type of material is to be embossed. However the basic principles of an embossing machine are the same. The ‘hopper’ holds the item that is to be embossed and the ‘daisy wheel’ is the component that actually creates the embossing effect. The daisy wheel can be ordered specifically with the characters, designs or languages that you require.
An embossing machine that is specifically designed for embossing metal is known as a metal plate marking machine. Manual machines are most commonly used for making metal tags. They are light weight, easy to use and can make tags one at a time in around a minute. When faster production is required, automated machines can produce high volumes in a short amount of time and can be run from computer databases. Automated machines also provide more flexibility in regards to the actual design specifications.
Embossed metal is desired for its strength and durability. That’s why embossed metal is the chosen material for items that will be subject to the elements. These elements include water, sun exposure, paints, lacquers and extreme temperatures.
Embossing is widely used in everyday life. Whether it’s on a credit card, a decorative leather hide belt or a car license plate; embossing will ensure that stylish design and important information will not be easily lost.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Leather is one of nature’s best products. Derived from animal skins, leather is the result of skins being tanned by a leather manufacturer. Leather has been used for millennia and is highly prized for it longevity and durability. Despite man’s best attempts, there is not a synthetic material available that comes close to challenging the toughness found in natural upholstery leather and leather hides. You would also be hard pressed to find a man made fabric that could rival the natural beauty of leather. Leather has a deep richness that has long been associated with wealth and stature. As well as durability and beauty, leather is also a versatile fabric that lends itself to many products such as clothing, accessories, upholstery and furniture.
Leather manufacturers are able to dye leather hides to provide choice of color for consumers. There are several types of dyeing methods which often depend on the quality of the leather hide.
Aniline dyes are reserved for the highest quality leather hides. Aniline dye is transparent allowing the natural grain of the leather to shine through. The hides are submersed in dye baths allowing the dye to penetrate through the entire thickness of the hide. Drum dyeing involves hides being submerged in dye and agitated in huge vats. The leather hides are then dried and sold. Waxing refers to the process of applying a wax based color to the leather hide. This type of dyeing is usually reserved for the less expensive ‘split’ leather as this process will remove all evidence of the natural grain, hide imperfections and leave a glossy finish.
Whilst being beautiful in its natural state, leather can be enhanced by a number of finishing processes. In addition to dyes and sealants, leather can be embossed. Embossing is the process of stamping a pattern or design into the leather hide. Embossing can even simulate the look of natural cow hide, crocodile and even ostrich. Embossed patterns will add depth and texture to the leather hide whilst also eliminating any imperfections from the leather hide.
Whatever the requirements of the buyer, buying a product made from quality leather hide is a purchase you can feel confident about. Leather in its natural state is soft and luxurious. It is a fabric that breathes, providing year round comfort in a range of climates. This makes leather hide the perfect fabric for upholstery. Despite feeling very soft and supple, upholstery leather is deceiving tough and can withstand high volumes of traffic. With proper care and maintenance, quality upholstered leather furniture will last a life time. Upholstery leather will also ‘wear’ very well and often look even better as they age.
There is world of choice when it comes to leather, and it’s that versatility that makes leather an easy choice. Natural or finished, colored or embossed; there is a leather to suit all purposes, styles and tastes.