About Leather

Clothing Use and maintenance Leather products
Leather Structure Introduction tanning
Distinguish natural synthetic leather Natural Leather

Clothing

use and maintenance

Durability of different types of leather depends to the method of use and maintenance more than any other product because it is a natural product. Keeping the following tips in mind ensures the original quality of your product during years:

Correct ways of applying suitable
oil waxes on leather clothing

- Before applying any wax, given clothing must be warmed up for a couple of minutes. You may place clothing in a semi warm current such as fan coil and dryer.
- Use enough wax to prevent remaining of excess wax on the leather surface and please carefully avoid over conditioning. Over conditioning by oil and wax leads to the blocking of the surface pores of leather and in turn impedes the natural ventilation (entry of air and emission of water vapor) as well as staining of leather.
- After conditioning place the clothing again in semi warm air.
- Finally polish the surface of the clothing by a brush or a soft and clean cotton diaper.
- In case of staining of the clothing surface, you need to put a clean cotton cloth on your leather clothing and then use iron with minimum possible temperature and strictly avoid keeping dry iron on leather.
- Steam ironing is not suitable for leather clothing. Refrain from ironing of suede and shearling clothing.

Leather
Structure

What is skin?

Skin is a layer located between body of a living thing and surrounding which creates a boundary between inside living world and outside dead world. In other words, skin is the outermost layer of any organism which protects the underlying tissues.
Skin does not have a consistent pattern in all body.
In some areas, it is soft and smooth and in some other areas, it is hard and flaking.
Strength and flexibility not only are different in various body parts of the organisms within the same race, but it can be different in the same organism depending on its age.

Structure of the skin

Skin is composed of different layers. The thickness of these layers is different in various parts of the body. If we look at the transverse cross section of the skin, three layers can be recognized:

Epidermis or upper layer
Epidermis is the outermost layer which accounts for 1% of skin total thickness. This layer is removed during the very first phases of tanning.

Dermis or middle layer
Dermis or curium is the main part of the skin which accounts for 85% of skin total thickness. Dermis is the flexible and strength part of the skin and is mainly composed of collagen fibers woven together. This layer is further divided into two layers:

Upper layer
This layer has a substantial role in beauty and strength of leather.

Reticular layer
This layer which is located beneath the upper layer is the main part of the dermis and accounts for the main part of the produced leather. This layer is much less dense than the upper layer.
Therefore, from a tanner's perspective, dermis layer is the most significant layer of the skin which is finally converted into leather through the tanning process.

Hypodermis or lower layer
Hypodermis is the lowest layer of the skin which accounts for 15% of skin total thickness which is mainly composed of connective, muscle and adipose tissues and is completely removed in tanning process.

What is tanning?

While the skin has moisture, it is highly soft and flexible but rapidly degenerates and when it gets dry turns to a hard and fragile material and becomes a decaying and stinking material right after the absorption of water. Whereas tanned skin becomes a soft and flexible material when it loses its moisture and will not degenerate and stink after the re-absorption of water.

Therefore, aim of tannin is to prevent dryness and fragility of skin and preserve softness and flexibility of leather after the remove of water.

Main stages of
leather production

1- Skinning and removing of skin from the carcass.

2- Disinfection; preventing degeneration of skin during transport and storage.

3- Washing or soaking; restoring of dried skin to the normal condition.

4- Unhearing; removing of hair from leather surface.

5- Liming; softening of hair root, fat, waste muscles and extending of skin tissues for the next phases.

6- Degreasing; separation of fat and waste muscles.

7- Deliming: neutralizing of alkaline materials generated during the stage 5.

8- Adding enzyme; for softening of skin.

9- Picking or acidification; raising the level of acidity as necessary to store skin.

10- Retanning; creating characteristics such as softness, hardness, flexibility, etc. in the final leather.

11- Dyeing: obtaining the desired base color.

12- Fatliqouring; a method for adding fat substances in order to soften and shaping of leather.

13- Drying.

14- Softening; make leather flexible through mechanical work.

15- Striping: improving of surface efficiency.

16- Finishing of leather; dyeing and improving the appearance of leather.

17- Ironing or pressing; for shining, smoothing and softening of leather and printing and creating of decorative signs on leather.

Distinguish natural
synthetic leather

Advantages of natural leather
over synthetic leather

1)Capability in passing of water steam (breathability)

2) High strength of natural leather

How to distinguish natural
from synthetic leather?

1) Synthetic leather has a consistent or repeated pattern on all surfaces, whereas natural leather can has different patterns.

2) In a large surface area, the thickness of synthetic leather is the same, whereas natural leather has various thicknesses in different areas.

3) Synthetic leather quickly shrinks against heat and creates a special smell and a black smoke and its remaining ash is hard, whereas natural leather is more resistible to heat and burning and while burring creates a smell similar to the burring of wool and a white smoke and its remaining ash is soft and powdery.

4) In cut profile of synthetic leather, there is not any fiber, whereas fibers are visible in synthetic leather.

5) Synthetic leather is made from plastic materials injected on a screen surface; therefore it has two layers, whereas natural leather is not like this.

6) Synthetic leather has a rubber touch.

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