Know Your Leather

Leather is a durable and flexible material created by the tanning of animal rawhide and skin, often cattle hide. It can be produced through manufacturing processes ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.

Leather is used for various purposes including clothing (e.g. shoes, hats, jackets, skirts, trousers and belts),bookbinding, leather wallpaper, and as a furniture covering. It is produced in a wide variety of types and styles and is decorated by a wide range of techniques.

Types of leather:

There are several type of leather but at leather sketch we normally deal with Cow Hide and Sheep Hide

Cow Hide:

This is the most common leather used in the leather manufacturing industry. Not because of its
nice wearable properties, strength and durability but because of its affordability and availability. Since
cowhide is a by-product of the beef industry across the world and the hides are very plentiful. This affordable and functional leather will continue to offer fashion, style and value for many
generations to come. The average thickness of a cowhide is 5mm before it is split.

Sheep Skin:

Refers to the hide of a sheep used with the wool still attached. The wool side can face into the
garment or accessory to produce a wool lining. The wool can also be made to face outside giving the coat a fur-like appearance. Whichever way the wool faces sheepskin is the warmest leather available.

Choosing Between Cow Hide and Sheep hide

Leather made from cow hide is on the stiff side and offers excellent resistance and protection but at the expense of weight. You will often find it used in motorcycle protective gear. And biker styles where toughness is the prime consideration. Jackets made of cow hide can take a long time to “wear in” Where as in leather made from Sheep hide grains are very fine, more supple than buffalo & cow but still tough and durable and light weight. This leather gives nice buttery feel. Sheep hides offer a good balance between comfort, style and strength. They particularly suits jacket styles where suppleness is important such as bomber jackets, blazers and reefers, especially in women leather jackets.

Leather Finishes

Top grained

(protected and coated) – is leather used in all applications- car upholstery, jackets and clothing. This is the easiest to maintain and also the most durable. It has that finished look and somewhat heavier. If a drop of water is spilled, it will bead up and cause no darkening of the spot and is easily wiped away.

Napa

Nappa leather is full-grain leather made from an unsplit skin and noted for softness and durability. Velvety to the touch, nappa leather is among one of the highest qualities of leathers and the most lightweight and soft. It is used in high-quality leather products. This quality leather offers great protection against the wind along with being resistant and warm.

Aniline

Aniline leather is a type of leather in which high quality hides have been treated with anilin as a dye. This produces delicate, soft, supple leather

Full aniline leather utilizes aniline dye to achieve a natural look, without any other finish. Semi-aniline leather also utilizes aniline dye and then adds a protective transparent topcoat finish that the full aniline leather lacks.

Nubuck

Nubuck is a type of high quality rawhide leather that is sanded to achieve a bit of a nap. This creates a velvety like texture that is similar to suede but with a very distinctive difference. Both have been sanded to give them a soft feel. The difference is that Nubuck leather is sanded on the inside part of the leather, whereas suede is sanded on the outside

Suede

Its type of Leather that is finished by buffing the flesh side (opposite the grain side) to produce a nap. Term refers to the napping process, and is unrelated to the type of skin used. See “Split Leather”.