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About Leather & How To Protect It

Leather is an ancient, durable material created through a process of tanning animal rawhide to preserve it and make it pliable when dry. Many features of natural leather make it superior to synthetic products including durability, comfort, beauty, suppleness, and resilience. In addition, leather’s ability to patina and absorb body oils continues to enhance the appearance and makes it more beautiful over time. 

NB: Due to leather being such a porous material it is very important to treat your leathers with creams and protectors as the rain, sunlight and other factors can impact the leathers structure, colour and overall texture of the lather. 

Some leathers are not suitable in specific weather conditions. Soft Summer leathers which are lightweight, and of a buttery texture are susceptible to taking on a lot of moisture. We would advise wearing your more robust leathers, or even gore tex finish shoes on these days. 

(Gore shell fabrics, the outermost fabric layer of a GORE-TEX® garment, are treated with an ultra thin polymer coating known as DWR, or durable water repellent. This coating causes water to bead up and roll off the outer layer of fabric, instead of being absorbed).

Characteristics of Full Grain Leather

No matter how advanced the tannery, each and every piece of leather produced is unique in character. A quality hide’s natural origins are displayed on its surface. Look for these essential characteristics of full grain quality:

  • Wrinkles or growth lines as subtly shaded bands on the grain side of a hide (this can cause some leathers to look discoloured or marbled throughout)
  • Natural variations in grain texture and shading (due to the natural variations within the grain often leather products can appear slightly different to the commerade for example, in a pair of shoes)
  • Small scars can be visible within many leathers, this however is not a quality issue and is very common throughout leather and other materials such a resin.
  • A similar shade of color on the suede side demonstrates superior base dye penetration
  • The depth and shading of colour on the grain side is comparable to that of a transparent color stain on a piece of fine hardwood furniture
  • Choosing full grain leather is the smart, long-term solution if comfort, quality, and durability are important.