Hello from all of us at Story Leather. It looks like October started and ended in an instant. With the weather cooling we're breaking out our winter wear and leather is always an in option, but how do you know what you're getting is the real deal? Well in the past weeks we've posted a few Leather 101's from various experts in the field, but this week we have the pleasure of having an expert from Tandy Leather to give us some insight on leather! Don't forget to check out their website for all your leather needs, they even have some awesome do it yourself kits as well as all the information about leather that you could ever want.
Story Leather: There have been some very impressive copies of leather lately, but how could you tell the difference based off the feel of it?
Tandy: The better the quality, the less chance of telling the difference by feel.
Story Leather: What about just looking at it? Are there subtle differences that once can look for when trying to spot a fake?
Tandy: More often than not nowadays the only way to tell is by looking at the back for some type of fabric backing.
Story Leather: Although Polyurethane Leather or Bonded leather is fake, but how is it they can say they are made with genuine leather?
Tandy: Bonded leather is not fake leather, however it is kind of like the particle board or plywood of the leather world. A bonded leather product can be called leather, and “Genuine” leather. Typically bonded leather is recycled from the excess leather that is cut from full hides during the tanning process. It is ground down to the fibers and then bonded together with a bonding adhesive and rolled out in to sheets, similar to the process of making paper. The sheets are then sold in rolls like fabric.
With some of the higher quality synthetic leathers, you may not be able to tell the difference from the surface. Typically the back is lined with fabric to make it easier for sewing, however if you cannot see the back of the leather, you may not be able to tell. As the quality improves, synthetic leather is being used more and more in leather jackets as it looks like genuine leather, is less expensive and is a bit more water repellent.
Story Leather: I understand there are varying thicknesses of leather and the more rugged ones are thicker. Is there a downside to the thinner “luxury” leathers as opposed to the Rugged hides?
Tandy: Some thinner luxury leathers can be made from pigskin or goat. They are quite soft and can be good quality, however calf and cow leathers have tighter grain fibers which make them more durable.
Story Leather: Lastly I wanted to ask about the different “leather grades”. Could you explain a bit more about top grain, full grain, Suede, etc?
See catalog pages 4-5 ( https://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/eflyer/tandy-leather-buyers-guide-2015/tandy-leather-buyers-guide-2015.aspx )
I wanted to thank the team at Tandy Leather for giving us all this information about leather and for more info visit their website at http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/.
Don't forget to check out our recent works section to see past creations, link right HERE to take a look at all the custom designs that others have made. Who knows, maybe there's a design that speaks to you.
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