LEATHER : TYPES AND USES
Presented by –
BFAD II yr
•Leather is a durable and flexible material created by
the tanning of animal rawhide and skin, often cattle hide.
•It can be produced through manufacturing processes ranging
from cottage industry to heavy industry.
•Leather is used for various purposes including clothing (e.g.
shoes, hats, jackets, skirts, trousers and
belts), bookbinding, leather wallpaper, and as a furniture
Several tanning processes transform hides and skins into leather:
• Vegetable-tanned leather is tanned using tannins and other
ingredients found in different vegetable matter, such as
tree bark prepared in bark mills, wood, leaves, fruits and
roots and other similar sources.
• Chrome-tanned leather, invented in 1858, is tanned
using chromium sulphate and other salts of chromium.
• Aldehyde -tanned leather is tanned
using glutaraldehyde or oxazolidine compounds.
• Brain tanned leathers are made by a labor -intensive process
which uses emulsified oils, often those of animal brains such
as deers , cows , and buffaloes.
• Chamois leather also falls into the category of aldehyde
tanning and, like brain tanning, produces a porous and highly
• Rose tanned leather is a variation of vegetable oil tanning
and brain tanning, where pure rose otto replaces the
vegetable oil and emulsified oils.
• Synthetic-tanned leather is tanned using
aromatic polymers such as the Novolac or Neradol types
(syntans, contraction for synthetic tannins).
• Alum-tanned leather is transformed
using aluminium salts mixed with a variety of binders
and protein sources, such as flour and egg yolk.
• Rawhide is made by scraping the skin thin, soaking it in lime,
and then stretching it while it dries.
• Full-grain leather refers to hides that have not been
sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to top-grain or
corrected leather) to remove imperfections (or natural
marks) on the surface of the hide. The grain remains
allowing the fiber strength and durability. The grain
also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from
prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, it will
develop a patina during its expected useful lifetime.
High quality leather furniture and footwear are often
made from full-grain leather. Full-grain leathers are
typically available in two finish types: aniline, semi-
• Top-grain leather (the most common type used in
high-end leather products) is the second-highest
quality. It has had the "split" layer separated
away, making it thinner and more pliable than
full-grain. Its surface has been sanded and a finish
coat added to the surface which results in a
colder, plastic feel with less breathability, and it
will not develop a natural patina. It is typically
less expensive and has greater resistance to
stains than full-grain leather, so long as the finish
• Corrected-grain leather is any leather that has
had an artificial grain applied to its surface. The
hides used to create corrected leather do not
meet the standards for use in creating vegetal-
tanned or aniline leather. The imperfections are
corrected or sanded off, and an artificial grain
embossed into the surface and dressed with stain
or dyes. Most corrected-grain leather is used to
make pigmented leather as the solid pigment
helps hide the corrections or imperfections.
Corrected grain leathers can mainly be bought as
two finish types: semi-aniline and pigmented.
• Split leather is leather created from the
fibrous part of the hide left once the top-grain
of the rawhide has been separated from the
• Splits are also used to create suede.
• The strongest suede's are usually made from
grain splits (that have the grain completely
removed) or from the flesh split that has been
shaved to the correct thickness.
• Suede is "fuzzy" on both sides.
USES OF LEATHER
• Leather is used for many proposes especially in
the fashion business because of its interesting
qualities; it can be made into shoes, bags, hats, items
of clothing like coats, jackets and several other
important ready made goods.
• The industrial application and commercial value of
leather industry is enormous considering the varied
uses of leather such as for automobile seats, home
appliances used for chair covers, tables, motorcycle
seats and many more value added items.