Skins for Leather
For this week’s discussion, we are going to talk about the skins used in leather production. There are as many leathers as there are animals with skin. Each of the skin have different applications based on their properties. Lambskin leather, for example, is softer than cowhide leather and mostly used for casual wear rather than rugged wear of cowhide jacket. Below is the list of most popular skins used for leather production.
Cowhide is well-known as a very tough, durable and affordable leather. Cowhide leather is used in every leather product known including outerwear, jackets, casual coats, gloves, belts, saddles, bags, furniture, straps, shoes, boots and upholstery. It is also the most abundant and common leather source, which brings down the price. Cowhide leather is also very heavy, making it one of the toughest material.
Lambskin is a very popular choice for leather. This supple material can give great comfort for its wearer when used. Its flexibility and smoothness can follow the natural movement of human body. These properties make lambskin is commonly used to make clothing or accessories such as leather gloves or jackets. Unfortunately, lambskin is not a very durable material. It can break and age rapidly and it can be discarded within one year after purchase.
Kangaroo leather is lightweight but also strong. It is made from wild kangaroo skin to retain its naturally occurring scratches, scuffs and range marks. Kangaroo leather is used to make items that needs to be strong and flexible. Moreover, the dark reddish-brown of kangaroo skin can also be used for motorcycle leathers that can protect cyclists in case they fall.
Calfskin has similar properties like lambskin but more resistant. It is also softer and more flexible than the fully grown cowhide. Calfskin is typically used to construct shoes and jacket. Calfskin is also considered fairly durable and it does not show scratches or blemishes easily. The drawback of calfskin is its expensive price from high material cost.
Goatskin is very versatile and can be used in many applications. It can be used for casual and work. The U.S. military even uses goatskin to make the famously known USAF A-2 military jacket. Goatskin is softer and more flexible than cowhide. It is also a resistant leather that often used to make robust bags or accessories. Moreover, goatskin’s look can improve with time. It is a rare type of leather which will look better the more it gets beaten up.
Crocodile skin is considered to be the most noble and expensive material. It is strong, supple, durable, solid and shows unique character caused by the irregularity of the scales. Crocodile skin is used to make luxury goods, handbags, wallets, boots, belts and briefcases.
Due to its harsh adaptation to its thorny and thicket filled habitat, deer hide becomes one of the toughest leather. The skin is used to create high quality personal accessories like handbag and wallets. Deer skin is also very expensive due to its rarity and high quality.
Ostrich leather is used as the raw material for major fashion houses such as Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton. It is highly demanded for its unique characteristic that can cause “goosebump” when it’s worn. It is a rare material but has the finest quality and durability. The skin itself is soft and supple with large feather quill follicles that can cause the “goosebump”. Ostrich leather is used for luxury fashion to make boots, footwear, upholstery, accessories, clothing, luggage, purses, wallets and briefcases.
Snakeskins from Anaconda, Cobra and Python are very rare. Therefore, most snakeskins that are used come from commercially farmed sea snakes. Snakeskin is delicate, thin, soft, supple and flexible. It can be used to make boots, wallets and handbags for ready-to-wear stores such as Robert Cavalli and Lanvin.
Sheep skin is soft, warm, lightweight, comfortable and pliable. It can be used in a similar way to the lamb to make leather garments. However due to its size restriction, it is hardly possible to make long sized items such as coat.
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