Types of Leather Jackets

Leatherworking

Several stages come to finalize the work of the skins, because simply cut up, they are not yet a leather.

Several terms will return to the label. We refer to “full bloom” when one keeps all layers of the skin, “flower” when it removes the top layer, and finally “split leather” when only keeps the strongest lower layers , But also the less beautiful.

Once removed, the skin of the animal is salted to remove the water, but it remains a skin.

The river work will constitute a kind of washing the skin in several stages: it takes away any remaining fur, fat and waste.

The tanning is then step which will help to “freeze” the life of the skin, and thus make it sustainable (rot) and more flexible. The operation is to make the swim in substances: tannin .There are 2 types:

Mineral or chemical tanning can be done from various ingredients, such as aluminum salts, alum or chromium (chromium 6 …) effective and inexpensive, these treatments, however, can be toxic.

Vegetable tanning is longer and more expensive, but less harmful. It is also interesting for skins of excellent quality (like those used by Hermes), because it offers a more natural rendering. It is a tanning that allows the leather to age very nicely.

The retanning allows you to make the last correction to the skin regarding touch.

From then on, we have a real leather, almost ready for use! Last step before making the garment: the finishing. This is where the skin is given its color, appearance and texture, flexibility … A basic principle to remember: the fewer treatments, the better the skin is at the base.

Different treatments of leather

The dive / aniline leather: reserved for the most beautiful skin without blemishes in full flower, this treatment involves “dive” leather in a bath, for tinting in the mass. No protection to preserve the original properties of the skin … This leather is the softest no doubt, but also the most fragile and often the most expensive: a drop of water can become dangerous ….

The corrected grain semi aniline: naturally showing some imperfections, the surface layer is ground to clear. The material is therefore a little less beautiful than the one that will have an aniline finish. It then receives a dye and a thin translucent layer.

The milled / grained leather: when the leather grain is regular, this treatment allows it to be accentuated. The grain is actually inflated by steam, for a more textured effect, which showcases bright colors like red, blue …

Pigmented leather: it receives one or more layers of opaque colors that hide imperfections and makes it more resistant. It is more homogeneous, and easier to waterproof … but less authentic, often with an icy aspect! The skins which have this treatment are of lesser quality, except to want to give the leather a glossy appearance.

The patina: refers to how the aged leather. Usually it is the aniline / immersed leathers that age the better because the skin becomes less uniform, some marked creases, and color also can highlight or brighten based friction … Basically, the patina reflects the life of leather and even adds value to the leather in a vintage spirit. Note that it will generally be more pronounced on a light or brown leather, rather than on a black leather.

Velvet leather: … have that touch velvet, so special! For this type of finish, the skin must be very beautiful from the start: the imperfections do not corrections to the tanning.

The suede leather: the inner layer of the skin is sanded, giving this peach finish. However, this is an extremely leather messy, whose maintenance can be costly (article about  leather care here ) …

Nubuck: it often looks the same as Sweden. The only difference is that the technical nubuck involves a light sanding of the flower, ie the outer part of the skin.

The skins with wool : bypass most of these tanning steps, retanning and finishing; because the goal is to keep the animal’s fur on the inside of the garment, except in rare processes by coating to give it a polished look. These leather jackets are very warm animal skin clothing, also have a velvet feel but are still less fragile. Many benefits for this skin (in addition to his very appearance)!

Now you have the basic vocabulary to talk about leather! The next step ? Some simple tips to gauge the quality of the skin!

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