The History of Leather & How it's Made

Leather is one of nature's most versatile and sensual materials. It offers comfort and durability in a variety of beautiful finishes, textures and colors. Leather has been made in various locations around the world for more than 5,000 years. The first tanner‘s guilds have been traced as far back as twelfth century England. Although tanning methods have changed with new technologies, the end result is a product that has been valued for centuries.

Leather is an agricultural by-product of the food industry. We purchase the hides and transform them into beautiful leather apparel and accessories. The first step in the modern tanning method is to apply a protective treatment to the hides (whole pelts from cattle) or Skins (the pelts of younger or smaller animals). Next they are put through a chemical process to keep them soft and flexible. Now the tanners can work with the leather to adjust the thickness, color and apply a variety of finishes. The end product is sent to manufacturers, who cut and sew the leather into apparel and accessories.

The Look and Feel of Leather

When most people see leather, their first reaction is to touch it. The way leather feels is called its “hand". In general, the softer the hand, the higher the leather cost. The raw material, which is a determined by genetics, greatly influences the quality of leather. Every hide and skin has sections that are naturally wrinkled, softer or thinner in certain areas. Environmental factors, including climate and food supply, also affect the final product. Since leather is a natural material, it is never uniform. Its small surface imperfections create a unique beauty that can never be duplicated.

Leather Hides Image
Part 1 of person finishing leather image
Part 2 of person finishing leather image