Leather Type & Care

LEATHER GARMENTS AND ACCESSORIES CARE:

Leather is a sensual and long-lasting natural material. Leather apparel is known for its strong and versatile nature and continues to scorch fashion ramps with fascinating styles and designs. Leather garments need to be carefully cleaned and stored. Leather garments must be carefully handled and stored so as to preserve it for a long time.

Leather garments must be hung on hangers so that their shape is maintained. Leather apparel must be prevented from direct sunlight.

SELF CLEANING

Most of the time you can clean the leather yourself. Smooth leather that has a finish can be cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge to get rid of dust and surface soil. Mild liquid detergent or saddle soap and water may be used to remove more serious dirt or stains. It is a good practice before you dampen leather is to test an inside seem to see if the leather has a finish. Water will bead on finished leather but will cause unfinished leather to spot. It a suede leather garment gets a spot, try using a suede brush or fine sandpaper.

REMOVING WRINKLES

If you need to remove wrinkles from your leather garment, you may do the following, but take great care. To remove wrinkles you may use an iron but do NOT put iron directly in contact with leather. Use a 100% COTTON cloth in between the leather garment and the iron. Do not use high heat with the iron either and do not leave the iron on the garment for very long. You can also try using a blow dryer but do not put in direct contact with leather. If the garment is not too badly wrinkled, then the blow dryer may work. Always use extreme caution and patience.

SEAL AND RUBDOWN

Give the leather a fine dusting with baby powder to seal the pores. Finish with a rubdown using a clean dry cloth to bring back the sheen. A wrinkled garment can be hung in the bathroom while you shower. If the wrinkles don’t steam out by themselves, gently iron the garment at a warm setting after layering clean brown paper between the iron and the leather. Store your leather garment in a well-ventilated area and cover with a cloth to keep it dust free. Avoid storing your leather garment in plastic. Leather is porous and it needs to “breathe”.

WATERPROOFING

You can waterproof and protect your leather garment by feeding it with mink oil or silicone spray. However, the process will most likely darken your leather. So it�s a good idea to test it first on a tiny area on the inside seam. If you are caught in a shower with an untreated leather garment, allow your leather garment to dry on a flat surface away from heat. Leather should dry at room temperature overnight. Remember, the radiator is no place to dry leather — excess heat saps up the leather’s essential oils and can leave it hard and cracked. If your leather garment gets wet, hang it on a wooden or padded hanger away from heat to dry.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR COW HIDE

Cowhide hair-on-hide is best used in an inside home environment.
You can fold your cowhide rug, but it will need some time to relax after it is unfolded. If the hide is good quality, the creases will come out after a few days laying flat. A heavy weight like books can speed up this process. You can also use steam iron on the underside to reduce creases more quickly.
Cowhide does not move much on carpet or wooden floors, the textured underside has natural grip. You do need to be a bit careful in bare feet on the soft and silky upper side.
We advise keeping the dyed and printed hides out of direct sunlight to avoid any possible fading. Natural cowhides are fade resistant. To clean your cowhide rug, simply vacuum with the vacuum head brush in the down position (for hard floors) or give the rug a shake outside to take out dust and small dry particles of dirt. turn around your rug or move to a different place from time to time so that it wears evenly.
You can wipe cowhide smoothly in the direction of the hair with a damp (but not wet) cloth with mild soap and water. It is important to note that soaking the hide or getting it too wet may damage it. NEVER wash in a washing machine or dry clean.
You can Brush with a hard plastic brush. It helps to keep the hair soft and fluffy and helps to remove dirt.
For common spills like coffee, tea, juice, food, soup, urine and vomit – soak up the spills with a paper towel or sponge immediately. Remove solid matters with the blunt edge of knife by scraping gently in the direction of the hair. Then clean with a damp (but not wet) sponge or cloth using mild soapy solution. Finally clean with a damp cloth using a diluted 5% white vinegar and 95% water solution. This helps to eliminate unpleasant odors.
For spills like fat, grease, lipstick, tar and chewing gum – Remove solid matter with the blunt edge of knife by scraping gently in the direction of the hair. Then apply Eucalyptus oil directly to the affected area on a soft cloth by dabbing gently. Finally clean with a damp (but not wet) sponge or cloth using a mild soapy solution. We cannot promise that this will take out your stain, but it the best method of trying. You have to do this at your own risk.
It is not good for Cowhides to be damp or wet for long periods, try your best to avoid this. On a sunny day you can put your cowhide outside with the underside facing the sun to air out. Store your cowhide in a dry, well ventilated place, preferably rolled around a tube core with a clean cotton sheet to protect from dust and dirt while in storage.

History of Leather

The role of Leather is very important in the development of civilization. From prehistoric times humans have used the skins of animals to fulfill their basic needs. They have used hides to make clothing, shelter, carpets and even decorative outfits. From leather, manmade footwear, belts, clothing, containers for liquids, boats and even armor. The basic protective shield of the Roman soldier was a heavy leather shirt.
In recorded history, pieces of leather dating from 1300 B.C. have been found in Egypt. ancient societies in Europe, Asia and North America all developed the method of turning skins into leather goods separately of one another. The Greeks were using leather garments in the age of the Homeric heroes (about 1200 B.C.), and the use of leather later spread throughout the Roman Empire. During the middle Ages, the Chinese people knew the technique of making leather. The Indians of North America also had developed great skills in leather work.
At some time, by accident or by trial and error, men discovered methods of preserving and softening leather. treating animal skins with things such as smoke, grease and bark extracts. In ancient societies, the art was a closely guarded secret passed down from father to son. As civilization developed in Europe, tanners and leather workers united in the trade guilds of the middle Ages, as did the craftsmen in other fields. Royal charters or licenses were issued permitting people to practice leather tanning. In the nineteenth century, vegetable tanning, i.e., tanning using the extracts from the bark of certain kinds of trees, was supplemented by chrome tanning.

How leather is sold

The most economical way to purchase leather is to buy it directly from the tannery. Leather is usually priced by the square foot and sold as a complete hide. The exact size, to the nearest 1/4 sq.ft. is measured on government approved measuring machines at the tannery. Purchasing leather this way, you are assured of getting value for money.
Leathers come from tanneries in various shapes and sizes depending on its intended use and the animal source which it came from. One thing to always remember about leather – it is an animal�s skin that has been processed into finished leather, not a synthetic material. therefore, you will find each skin will be different in shape and size from another.
For easy handling during tanning procedures, large animal hides are usually cut into smaller sections (sides, shoulders, bellies, etc.) at the tannery. Skins of smaller animals such as calf, goat, pig and reptiles are tanned and sold in their original shape. Although leather is sometimes cut into various shapes for the convenience of the client, the price is always upper because of the additional costs for labor and waste.
Buying leather becomes much easier if you understand what the different types of leather are used for, how different leathers are tanned and how large skins are cut and sold.
To make leather a uniform thickness, initially the hides are run through a splitting machine. As animal hides are not of uniform thickness, and since they are wet when they are put through the splitting machine, the thickness of the leather will not be the same throughout the hide. There will always be slight difference and that is why leathers are usually shown with a range of thickness – such as 0.6 -0.8mm 2.0 � 2.6mm., etc.