Animal skins have been tanned since prehistoric time. Leather found in Egyptian tombs over 3,000 years old gave evidence of such specimens. The Greeks and Romans were leather makers. Some of the methods are still used. Ancient peoples tanned their leather by placing layer of bark, leaves, and fruit over them. The process took many moths, and if the skins were thick it took years. In the early 800 B.C., they started using mineral salt alum as a tanning agent.
The American Indians used deerskins to make leather for tents, cloaks and moccasins.
Manufacturers did not begin production leather for a large market until the 1800’s. Leather is tough, flexible material made from the skin of animals. Cattle hides provide leathers, but deer, goat, pig and sheepskins are also widely used. The specialty leathers are made from shark, and snake hides.
Leather is used to make shoes, boots, belts, gloves, jackets, hats, shirts, trousers and skirts. Baseballs, basketballs and footballs all have leather covers. Leather is strong and durable. It can be as flexible as cloth or a stiff as a board. Leather Motorcycle Jackets is the number one apparel for Motorcycle Riders.
Some kinds of leather are heavy, but other kinds are thin. Leather can be dyed, polished until it has a glossy finish. The United States is one of the world’s largest producers of leather.
Kinds of Leather
The main kinds of leather are shoe sole leather, shoe upper leather, chamois, and suede. It is produced from the thick skins of cattle and other large animals. Shoe upper leather comes from the skins of claves, goats and other smaller animals or by splitting heavy hides into thin layers.
Chamois leather was originally made from the chamois, an animal that resembles the antelope. However today, most chamois leather is made from split sheepskin. Properly tanned chamois leather is as soft as cloth and will hold water like cloth. Chamois leather is often used as a washing and polishing cloth.
Suede leather is often made from the inside flesh layer of a cowhide that has been split. In the past, goatskins or sheepskins were used for this leather. Suede is soft, flexible, warm, and water-resistant. This kind of leather is used to make jackets, coats, dresses, pants, and shoe uppers.