Leather is undoubtedly a versatile material when it comes to use it for the manufacture of different objects, however each skin has different characteristics that make them functional for some things more than for others, which is why it is necessary to know the different types of leather.
Each skin has specific characteristics that make it unique, even the way in which it has been processed, gives the material properties that help in factors such as durability and malleability, which is why it is necessary to know the classification of the types of leather as this way we will understand what each of them works for.
The food, the skin, the type of cut, there are many factors that influence the quality of the leather.
Although leather is tanned leather, we find great differences depending on all these aspects.
That is why we will classify the types of leather depending on certain factors such as its origin, processes through which it passed and thus know for what kind of products is suitable to use each leather, depending on the factors mentioned above.
As you will see, besides determining what things can be manufactured with each type of leather, knowing what type of leather is used, establishes other aspects such as cost, the value it will have in the market, and even the care that the user must take with the product.
For many people, leather is just leather, overlooking what kind of leather their favorite shoes are made of, while others become completely fanatical about it, paying thousands of euros to get a precious handbag.
That is why in this article we want to mention the different types of leather and how to identify them, so that when you choose a product, you know exactly what you are buying.
Types of leather
The origin of the leather clearly determines the properties of the same, there are many animals from which we can obtain leather, especially, it is common that this comes from farm animals.
Among the different types of leather according to its origin we can find:
Bovine, goat, porcine, equine, otter, chinchilla, reptile, fish or cervine leather, as you will see, the life habits of the animal, its age, sex or season of the year in which it was treated will influence the structure of the skins, determining the quality of the same.
The cowhide is the most used type of leather, its special characteristics give it versatility when it comes to work. If we observe it in natural light, it looks compact and resistant, even showing rigidity when stretched.
Despite its rigid appearance, cowhide leather is a very flexible type of leather, which is why it is used in shoes and handbags. It has a soft touch, however, because it comes from farms, it is normal for it to present superficial marks, as well as grooves, scratches and holes.
One of the reasons why this leather is so widely used, in addition to its properties, is that it is easy to obtain, as you will see, due to the consumption of beef, the skin is something that is generally left over, so it is used for the manufacture of articles.
However, we can find other types of leather from farm animals, such as pigs, goats and horses, depending on the difficulty of obtaining and treating it can vary its cost in the market, which is why the more exotic or wild the animal is, the more expensive its skin will be.
The skin from animals such as crocodiles and snakes, is considered the most expensive in the market, because as you will see the obtaining of it, is a little more complex, plus the tanning process can be more complicated, and is that even the most expensive bags in the world have been made with crocodile leather.
As you may already know, all types of leather, regardless of its origin, go through a chemical process called tanning, which is carried out on the animal’s skin to turn it from putrescible to rot-proof skin.
Tannin, a chemical compound that prevents the animal’s skin from decomposing, is generally used for tanning.
However, there are several ways to work the leather after tanning, and depending on this, different types of leather are generated which may acquire different forms, among these types we can find the following:
Boiled leather: during this process the leather is hardened by immersing it in wax, grease or boiling water, depending on the liquid used, the result varies.
The wax or grease provides greater resistance, after the leather cools it becomes quite moldable, thus facilitating the work to be done while maintaining the shape obtained when it hardens.
Oily leather: this type of leather is super water resistant because this treatment is used to replenish the natural oils that the leather loses during the tanning process.
This method allows the leather to remain supple and prevents it from becoming brittle, making the piece made from it last much longer than usual.
Dyed leather: many times the original color of the leather is preserved, however, for aesthetic purposes, this type of leather is treated with various dyes to obtain decorative tones.
It is necessary to know what type of leather can be dyed, since some do not adopt the color correctly, completely damaging the piece. During this process, aniline dyes dissolved in alcohol or acrylic paints are used.
Patent leather: Many of us have used it at some time, perhaps in those precious first communion shoes, or in that belt that suits us so well, patent leather is basically a piece of leather, varnished with polyurethane, which gives it its characteristic shine.
With this type of treatment the leather becomes more resistant and waterproof
In Calmabags we have a wide variety of products made with different types of leather, unique products that will make every outfit something special.