What are the most valuable leathers and how to recognize them
There are different types of leather. The natural product differs depending on the animal, the intended use, the tanning or the type of coloring. It is a fascinating product that has accompanied us, protected us and kept us warm since ancient times. Used in numerous sectors; from design to the automotive industry passing through clothing, leather represents a true art that has been handed down for centuries.
Why go for leather?
Leather is a noble and natural raw material, mainly used in the production of shoes, furniture, car interiors, clothes and bags. Approximately 500,000 tons of leather are produced each year, the equivalent of about 1.5 billion m².
This material has a technical advantage over alternative materials: one gram of leather has an internal surface area of up to 300 m², its fibers are rich in collagen.
Therefore, leather has great resistance to tearing, stretching and bending, is reluctant to age and can absorb up to 30% water without “wetting”.
Can absorb moisture from the inside and direct it to the outside. Insulates against cold and heat. No substitute, no synthetic leather has so many advantages. Especially when it comes to shoes, jackets or gloves, leather clearly offers an unparalleled advantage and comfort.
The variations in leather are amazing, depending on how the dermis is processed we have a different texture and value: Nubuck, velvet, aniline, semi-aniline, pigmented leather, oily leather, suede and more.
Before talking about the characteristics of the different leathers, let’s review the various types of leather starting from the animal of origin:– Lamb: This is a thin but very resistant leather, protective and insulating, suitable for winter jackets. Loved for its delicacy, given by a smooth and silky surface. Its name is synonymous with quality.
– Sheepskin: Sheepskin has similar characteristics to calfskin but is less noble. The advantage of mutton lies in the fact that its thick wool, gives the leather even more resistance and makes it even warmer. It is therefore ideal for the creation of clothes.
– Cowhide: smooth and thick, cowhide is generally not a leather used for its nobility, we prefer it on rough and masculine jackets, which should naturally improve over time.
Buffalo: a more noble natural grain material than its friend above, buffalo remains relatively expensive and can take many forms. Solid or flexible, depending on its intended use and the treatment used.
– Crocodile – Aligator: these are undoubtedly the most famous exotic skins. They are expensive, rare and highly sought after by the large clothing industries for making shoes and accessories.
Le diverse varietà di pelle
– Crust: the crust is a very particular type of leather, as it is not very worked. The tannery does not apply any primer on the leather, in order to reduce chemical treatment to a minimum. This type of leather easily absorbs any type of processing and color, and is particularly used in the clothing and accessories sector.
– Vegetable leather: Today, classic leather is tanned with chrome in particular – the rest of the products is a recipe generally kept secret by the tanneries. However, it is also possible to tan it using natural materials (it is more time-consuming, more expensive and more complicated, but it is possible), so we talk about vegetable tanning. Vegetable tanning is the oldest and most ecological method of treating leather, used for several centuries.– Full-grain leather: Full-grain leather is the most valuable and durable layer of animal skin. This material is the most natural in its class and is unrivaled in quality.
– Sawn grain leather: it is the dermis that has been treated to improve its quality. The benefits are its resistance, nobility and naturalness. Having a product so raw and of such high quality is a guarantee of exceptionality and durability.
– Nubuck: This is a type of top-grain leather treated in such a way as to give a smooth and velvety feel.
– Suede: A popular type of leather that can be identified by its fuzzy surfaces, suede is commonly made from split leather.
– Leather split: is the lower part of the leather, the least noble part and the cheapest. It is often used for entry level products of excellent quality.
Now you have all the information you need to improve the quality of your purchases.
Knowing these indications from now on will allow you to distinguish a quality product from one that is defined as such but that is not at all.
We have always been of the opinion that quality is better than quantity.