Nowadays leather products are omnipresent. A wide range of products are made of leather such as shoes, furniture, wallets, and clothes and so on. Many salesmen claim that their products are made of leather, which contribute to a noble and expensive image. As a matter of fact, leather falls into three main types.
The main sources of raw material for the leather industry world-wide are animals like cow, sheep and goats. In fact, most leather is tanned cow leather. Genuine leather can be further divided into five types. Full grain leather enjoys the highest quality, which boasts the greatest fiber strength and durability. It is made from finest material without being sanded. This kind of leather is widely used in footwear production. Top grain leather has been sanded with one side fuzzy and the other side smooth. The artificial grain takes place of its natural grain. Suede is made from the lower split of a hide, which is napped or sanded to add texture. Cow suede, doe suede, goat suede and pig suede are available in the market. Due to its formation, suede is often less durable and resistant to abrasion and is also susceptible to water damage. But its softness, thinness, and pliability make great contribution to its popularity in clothing making. What’s more, suede easily gets dirty. Shearling is a kind of leather which has been tanned with wool still adhering to the skin. It is widely used in boots, winter jackets and coats making. Nubuck is made from the outer side of a hide, which enjoys great strength, thickness and fine grain. Shoes with high quality, belts and some fine wholesale handbags are made from this kind of leather.
Bonded leather refers to mixing the materials under hide with some chemical materials. It turns on a genuine leather appearance. It’s much cheaper than genuine ones. But the fiber strength is poor, so it’s quite less durable compared to genuine ones. People often adopt cardboard that is then surrounded fragments of split leather and secured by glue.
Artificial leather is often made from PVC or PU material etc. Different strength, abrasion resistance, luster and colors are available according to special requirements. It’s also water proof and enjoys high plasticity. With the development of technology and tanning process, artificial leather gets increasing improvement in its quality. Most people can afford to artificial leather products like shoes, jackets and furniture etc.
Leather products are relatively expensive. They need special ways to take care of and maintain them. Generally speaking, keep the leather products from direct sunlight and hang them so as to keep their shapes; store them in a cool and dry area; keep them away from chemical materials such as perfume; use leather conditioner and cleaner for cleaning.
Leather products play an important role in our life. They have been involved in every aspect in reality. It is helpful if we know some knowledge about leather such as its classifications and maintenance.