I can’t think of more elegant and stylish texture than leather, no matter if we’re talking about clothes, accessories or furniture. There is something about it that makes me want to purchase more and more leather goods. I’m not sure if it is connected with films, after all the bad boys in films are always wearing leather but I love it. Of course not everyone feels the same way as me, I have friends which won’t wear leather under any circumstances.
Love it or hate it you can’t simply be indifferent towards leather, there is no middle ground and this article is for all you leather lovers. I will include information regarding different types of leather and their use for the manufacturing of clothes, accessories, shoes and furniture. The subject is so extensive I will certainly forget something so feel free to add more information in the comments below.
Types of Leather
Before I continue I want to make one think clear, although I love leather goods I’m 100% against animal cruelty. I purchase genuine leather but never will I buy mink, crocodile, fox fir goods, etc. as far as cattle, goat and sheep I don’t have a problem with. Almost everything can be made of leather and depending on the goods it can be divided into three main categories: aniline, semi-aniline and protected.
If you’re looking for durability I would recommend you go for protected leather because it has special polymer coating which makes it resistant against stains, soiling, tearing, etc. This type of leather is used in cars leather seats. Unfortunately there is a flaw, if you choose this type you’ll find it is not natural in appearance nor to the touch. On the opposite side we have aniline leather which is by far the most natural but it is less resistant to dirt, soiling, etc.
Luckily for you there is a third option which is in-between the above, the semi-aniline leather has some coating but at the same time it retains its natural appearance and it will be quite hard for an average person to tell the difference. During processing leather is treated with different pigments, split into layers, sanded and buffed. Those procedures further determine the division into more types and sub-types.
Here are just a few quick examples and we’ll continue with protection, maintaining and cleaning leather goods. The most beautiful by my opinion is full grain leather which surface is not sanded or buffed and you can see the natural pattern and all little imperfections beneath the coating layer. Another type is corrected grain pigmented leather which is indistinguishable form full grain even to some familiar with leather.
Before the coating the grain surface of corrected leather, it is sanded to remove any pattern and imperfections. After the coating a decorative pattern is embossed onto the surface making it look like genuine, natural fill grain leather. Moving on to nubuck and suede leather, both of which are velvety to the touch. The surface is abraded in order to create the distinctive nap but nubuck is softer opposed to suede.
Taking Care For Leather Goods
Although leather is extremely durable, looks amazing and can be used to various purposes it has to be taken good care for. For example if your suede shoes get wet there is a possibility they change colour. If you don’t treat them as soon as possible you’ll probably have to purchase new ones. Things are quite the same with clothing although there is a difference regarding what type of leather is used for the jacket and how it is finished.
Some of the clothing are made form quite soft and thin leather which is buffed and they can be stained really easy. As for other like biker jackets they can withstand a lot of abusing because the leather is really thick. In most cases it is full grain and all you need in order to clean it are wet wipes, but make sure they don’t have alcohol because this will dry the leather. There are also a lot of cleaning products specially designed for leather goods.
If you want you can make some cleaning solutions on your own, there are plenty of green cleaning blogs offering solutions to various stains and their removal. Of course my recommendation is you either use specialized cleaning products or hire a professional cleaner. One important note you should remember is leather has to be conditioned as well as cleaned. Make sure when you purchase leather you also ask about the appropriate cleaning solvents and conditioners or check at Amazon.