The importance of leather and its role in history
Leather clothing plays a role right from the beginning of humanity. Even the Stone Age people took the skin or fur of the animals killed for nutrition to make tent walls, ribbons, straps or leather clothing.
We wear much more leather on the body than we usually even notice. We wear leather as leather jackets, shoes, gloves, leather belts or watch straps. Leather is a constant companion for most people.
Leather clothing includes jackets, trousers or gloves made of leather. The most common animal species for clothing leather are cowhide leather, lambskin, goat leather and pig leather. This is because leather is processed almost exclusively by animals that are bred for meat production.
Since humans have used the skin of animals, all kinds of leather clothing have been made from it. Leather hats, leather and fur jackets and coats, leather shoes or leather gloves. In the colder areas, leather was essential for surviving.
Leather jackets are available with almost all types of leather. Leather jackets are available as bomber leather jackets, motorcycle jackets, pilot jackets or in all variants of casual jackets. The same applies to the long version, the leather coat.
Different types of leather
When you buy leather clothing, it is very important to know which leather it is. Because the material you wear decides how you wear it. Some have been designed to keep you warm, others complement a summer look. You can also look in advance for the types of leather, depending on whether you need a light or a warmer model.
Leather clothing made of cowhide leather
Cowhide leather is usually used. Usually used for strong leather clothing. Cowhide leathers are heavier and thicker, but also more robust. Typical are motorcycle suits and other protective clothing or buffalo leather pants. But there are also thin cowhide leathers for casual jackets.
Leather clothing made of lambskin
Lamb leathers are usually processed as smooth leather for lighter casual jackets, skirts, dresses, etc. Particularly expensive leather jackets are often made of lamb leather. Lamb leather is produced in a variety of ways: It can only have been washed, tanned by mineral chrome tanning or the tanning was done with inwardly turned fur or with vegetable means (vegetarian tanning). Everything depends on the desired copy of the leather. The majority of the differences are in the different manufacturing or dying process.
Leather jackets made of goat leather
Goat leather are usually used as a goat suede, i.e., as suede for jackets, skirts or trousers. Often leather jackets made from goat leather are not expensive, but rather a good price-performance ratio. These leathers are often found in winter time, especially in the autumn/winter collections.
Leather jackets made of pigskin
Pig leathers are used for inexpensive leather jackets. The most common are suede leather. But pig leathers are also increasingly offered as smooth leather. Pig leather is usually not as stable and soft as goat or lamb leather. Another argument that cannot be rejected is that this leather is cheap. The price-performance ratio is also very interesting. If you are looking for the unique look of pig leather, you can play it safe with the Oakwood brand, there are many very well-made ladies’ leathers jackets.
Other animal species
More rarely are leathers of deer or reindeer (conservative leisure jackets), horses (oiled, heavy jackets), kangaroos (motorcycle suits) or fur animals (fur coats, jackets).
In most cases, the fashion companies and clothing stores are not the manufacturers of leather jackets, and the manufacturers of the jackets have not tanned the leather either. This is what tanneries do, who sell the leather to the manufacturers of the jackets, who manufacture the jackets for the fashion companies. Manufacturers and tanneries are usually located abroad, where production is cheaper due to the high level of manual work.
Leather jackets and leather quality
As a leather expert, you are often asked which leather has the best quality. But this question is not that easy to answer. Depending on the reason for purchase, the attention can be paid to very different quality criteria. A motorcycle station wagon should be comfortable, protect against the weather and protect against injuries, especially in the event of an accident. A stretch leather pants should first look sexy. Every piece of clothing would be subjected to different kinds of expectations and requirements.
However, there are quality features that apply to almost all leathers in the clothing sector. The leather should not tear too easily, it should not smell bad, it should not tear off, it should not have too strong natural characteristics and should be free of toxic chemicals. In addition, there are many other possible leather defects.
On the one hand, you can inform yourself in advance. The leather smell can be easily tested; the staining is tested with a slightly moistened rag in the concealed area. Skin damage can be seen. Toxic chemicals cannot be tested, but scandals are very rare in leather. We wear almost all leather shoes but there are almost no cases with problems due to the chemistry in the leather.
Therefore, the rule remains as with all purchases: Inquire sufficiently before making a purchase. Try on the clothes. Examine the purchased object closely. Read the information and care instructions carefully. Ask questions to the provider before and after the purchase if you are still missing information.
However, once the leather articles are in your possession, it is very important to bear in mind from the beginning that proper care which is appropriate to the material is required so that you can enjoy your leather products for as long as possible. Suede requires a completely different cleaning than Napa leather with its characteristic smooth surface. In addition, a distinction must be made between care only for the surface, or with depth effect. The aim of the products with depth effect is to maintain the originally soft texture of the leather and also to improve the aspect of waterproofness a little. Leather oils and fats are used for this purpose.