Leather goods are timeless pieces, transcending fashion and history with effortless chic that is always relevant. Knowing the hows, whys and wheres of the leather industry goes a long way in selecting high quality leather-licious products.
High quality leather products don’t cost your spare change. Expensive as they are, leather goods are worth the investment provided you are not sold poorÂ craftsmanshipÂ and low grade leather.
Don’t let the “genuine leather” staple mark fool you. Not all leather goods are made equal. Get to know the leather world to make sure you purchase the highest quality you can afford.
Types of Leather
When you see an object marked as â€œgenuine leatherâ€ it is usually wise to give it a pass. Genuine leather is typically made from the innermost pieces of hide, which is flimsy and frail.
Top-grain leather is the most popular type used to produce high end products with the second highest of quality. It’s flexible and stain resistant. Belting leather and saddle leather are classified as full grain leather – the highest quality.
Is it Leather?
There are some fantastic leather fakes out there. If you turn a piece of leather over and you see fabric, you are looking at vinyl. Real leather should have a dual finish that leaves the top looking like the bottom, or it might have an unfinished suede back.
You can also use the aroma test; real leather always has a distinct smell. Unless you can detect the signature smell of leather, give it a pass.
Far Beyond Cattle
Cattle leather is the most common leather around, and while it is a useful all-purpose leather, there are plenty of other options out there.
Though sheep leather is less sturdy than cowhide, it is much softer, with a lovely wrinkled texture. Pig skin is typically used to make fine suede, and it is very light and very smooth. Goat skin also produces a texture that is significantly finer than cow hide, and it is also tougher than sheep skin.
Other leather options include the exotic kind. Snake, ostrich and crocodile are just the beginning!
Imperfections versus Flaws
Imperfections is what gives leather its personality. Discolorations in natural leather provide focal points in clothing or furniture. Distinguish imperfections from flaws. Look closely to differentiate a natural discoloration from a glue spot, and feel the leather to make sure that it is of a uniform thickness.
Leather as an Investment
Remember that there are no real steals when it comes to leather. If you want your leather goods to last for a lifetime, make sure that you put the money into it. High quality leather Â can be repaired time after time, so choose your leather wisely.