Leather Goods Tips and Tricks
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Published by TOP4 Team
All the different types of leather goods have their own characteristic, look and feel. Here are the description of many types of leather that may give you enlightenment when deciding to buy leather products.
Types of Leather
Skin of cattle like cow and sheep are mainly used for the production of leather. Leather has a wide range of uses for making clothes, upholstery and shoes. The types of leather itself can be categorised based on the basis of the part of a hide used as raw material for making the leather. Grain, with respect to leather, is referred to as the part of a hide that is obtained by removing the hair. Grain can be split into two layers: top grain and split. Split has no content of the natural grain and is the lower layer of the natural grain obtained.
- Full grain or top grain leather is the leather that is formed just by removing the hair present on the epidermis of the hide. It is the most natural form of leather, since no polishing and finishing are done to the grain. There are two methods of giving a finished touch to full grain leather, they are aniline and semi-aniline. In aniline finish, the leather is dipped in a transparent dye that colors the leather uniformly without losing its natural look. When an extra coating is given to prevent a stain, it is called semi-aniline finish. Full grain leather is the most expensive and good quality leather. This leather, being in its most natural form, is the most popular type of leather. It is much expensive and comfortable type of leather.
- Split leather is made from the remaining part of the hide after the removal of the top grain. This leather is harder and cheaper than the full grain. Split leather is comparatively more fragile and gets easily damaged, if not handled properly. Split leathers are often used to produce suede.
- Corrected grain leather is full grain leather which polished to remove the scratches present on the grain. The hides used in the corrected grain leather are of inferior quality. Semi-aniline and pigmented can be the two types of finishing techniques used for corrected grain leather. Most of the time, pigmented leather is preferred as it is better at correcting the scratches.
- Nubuck or buffed or suede leather is formed by splitting the layer between the grain and the hide. The surface of this leather is buffed to create the soft layer. It is cheaper as compared to full grain leather. However, it is fragile in nature, as it quickly gets damaged when it comes in contact with any liquid. Suede is not a good option to be used for upholstery. The surface of this type of leather has a velvet like feeling.
- Bicast or coated leather is a synthetic type of split leather, which is made by applying a layer of polyurethane to the surface. This leather is more durable as compared to other types of leathers. Initially, this type of leather was used only in shoe industry. Nowadays, because of its high durability and economic price, it is also used for upholstery in commercial places like bars and restaurants.
- Faux leather is man-made leather. It is durable because of the synthetic materials used. It is widely used in commercial places for the furniture, since faux leather is the cheapest type of leather and does not get damaged soon. It also looks like the original leather.
Tips to Have a Good Deal When Purchasing Leather Goods
Nowadays, leather is a symbol of luxury and fashion. It has carved a niche for itself in the fashion industry. Leather goods are being manufactured by most leading brands and it has been molded to adorn the body in the form of furnishings, leather jewellery, etc. It is no longer restricted to leather jackets, coats, boots, belts, and such other common leather products. Leather goods now command a lot of attention and have a specific role play in the market.
Leather products definitely add the style into ultimate statement, but there are few things that you need to consider before purchasing these kinds of product. Here are some tips for those who want to buy a good quality leather product with reasonable price:
- Consider the look and the feel of the leather product. The natural tendency of most people is to touch the leather material when they see the product. There is a general saying, “the softer the hand, the higher the cost”. This would simply mean the softer the leather feels to the hand, the higher price it will take.
- Be aware that most stores may often have many misleading signs that claim to have ‘genuine leather product’ and offer great discounts. Ensure that you go to a reputed shop that sells ‘all leather’, which mean you do not have a vinyl or PVC blends in the products.
- Generally, cows are one of the animals whose hides are used for leather products, such as leather coats and wallets. However, there are some stores that display products which even use alligator or snake skin. Always ensure that your leather products are not manufactured using illegal skins and hides. Try to know the authenticity of the manufacturers and look for the companies who do not use animals that are killed for their hide. The idea is, stick to a good-reputed brand.
- There are many companies that sell synthetic blends of leather products to lower their production cost. Synthetic leather products are known to cause an ecological damage, as most of them are not biodegradable.
- There are several factors that affect the overall appearance of the leather. This would depend upon the tanning process and the quality of the hide used for the leather products. Real and genuine leather resists abrasion. On the other hand, imitation leather has the surfaces embossed and colored to create the look of genuine leather. Also look at the overall texture of the product.
- Although these leather goods look ultra-stylish and are very tempting to own, always remember to treat it like your own skin. You will need to treat your leather goods with tender and love care. Look for specific leather cleaners that are available easily before buying expensive leather goods.