If you are curious about leather goods, you might wonder what is the origin of leather and how it became such a popular material for clothing, footwear, handbags, furniture, tools and sports equipment.
In this blog post, we will explore the incredible history of leather and leather goods, and how it evolved from ancient times to modern days.
Leather is a strong, flexible and durable material obtained from the tanning, or chemical treatment, of animal skins and hides to prevent decay. The most common leathers come from cattle, sheep, goats, equine animals, buffalo, pigs and hogs, and aquatic animals such as seals and alligators.
The history of leather and leather craft has very close ties to people all around the world. The history of leather began about 400,000 years ago in Hoxne, England, where archaeologists found evidence of human beings using animal skins for clothing and shelter. These early skins were dried in the sun, softened by pounding in animal fats and brains, and preserved by salting and smoking.
Beginning with simple drying and curing techniques, the process of vegetable tanning was developed by the Egyptians and Hebrews about 400 BCE. Vegetable tanning involves soaking the skins in a solution of plant extracts that contain tannins, which are natural substances that bind to the collagen fibers of the skin and make them resistant to bacteria and moisture. Vegetable tanned leather has a natural brown color and a distinctive smell. It is also environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
During the Middle Ages, the Arabs preserved the art of leather making and so improved it that morocco and cordovan (from Córdoba, Spain) became highly prized leathers. Morocco is a soft leather made from goat or sheep skin that is dyed red or other colors and often embossed with geometric patterns. Cordovan is a smooth leather made from horse or mule hide that is shaved very thin and polished to a high gloss. It is usually used for shoes and belts.
By the 15th century, leather tanning was once more widespread in Europe, and by the mid-19th century, power-driven machines that performed such operations as splitting, fleshing, and dehairing were introduced. The industrial revolution also brought new methods of tanning, such as chrome tanning, which uses chromium salts to produce a soft, supple leather that can be dyed any color. Chrome tanned leather is the most common type of leather today, accounting for about 80% of global leather production. It is also cheaper and faster than vegetable tanning, but it has some drawbacks such as being less durable and more harmful to the environment.
Today, leather making is a global industry that employs millions of people and produces billions of dollars worth of goods every year. China and India are the leading producers of leather today, followed by Brazil, Italy, Russia, Argentina and Pakistan. Leather bags are widely appreciated for their quality, versatility and style. Leather can be used to make a variety of items, such as jackets, pants, skirts, dresses, hats, gloves, wallets, purses, backpacks, briefcases, luggage, sofas and chairs.
Leather goods is also a popular hobby for many people who enjoy working with their hands and creating unique items from leather. Leather craft involves cutting, sewing, stamping, carving , tooling , dyeing , painting , burning , gluing , riveting , lacing , braiding , weaving , molding , shaping , embossing , glazing , or tumbling leather to make various products or artworks . Leather craft can be done with simple tools such as knives , scissors , needles , thread , punches , stamps , awls , hammers , mallets etc., or with more advanced tools such as sewing machines , skivers , splitters , burnishers , edge bevelers etc.
Leather craft can be a fun and rewarding activity that allows you to express your creativity and personality through leather. You can make your own leather bags or gifts for yourself or your loved ones. You can also sell your leather bags online or at craft fairs or markets .You can also join a leather craft community online or offline where you can share your ideas, tips , techniques and projects.
As you can see, leather has a long and fascinating history that spans across cultures , continents , and centuries . Leather is a natural material that has many advantages over synthetic materials, for this reason in Crush Leather Goods we use high quality leather in all our bags.
In Crush Leather Goods you can find a wide variety of small leather goods and leather bags from spain, from genuine leather crossbody bags, quality tote bags to leather hobo bags and even handmade leather backpacks such as Big Lea, don’t miss it!