Leather, animal skin that has been
chrmically modified to produce a strong, flexible material that resists decay. Almost all the world output of leather is produced from
cattle hides and skins of calves,
goats, kids, sheep, and lambs. Other
hides and skins used include those of the horse, pig, kangaroo, deer, seal, and walrus, and of various reptiles. Leather is used for a wide
range of products. The variety of skins and the way they are processed
can produce leather as soft as cloth
or as hard as a shoe sole. Cattle hides, the major raw material for
leather clothes, range from being lightweight and supple to tough and
strong. Tough hides are used in the
production of the durable leather
required for soles of shoes, machine
belting, engine gaskets, and harnesses. Calfskeen is lighter and finer-grained, and used for making
fine leather suitable for such articles as shoe uppers. Sheepskin is soft and supple; it yields the type of leather suitable for leather
clothes' accessories such as gloves,
jackets, and other apparel.
The leather-dresser knows the secrets of transforming crude skin into beautiful leather so that it keeps all natural properties. The leather clothes are elastic and strong, breathing and protecting from the wind. Every type of leather coat and leather accessories has typical structure and depends on ways of processing and manufacturing. Therefore, leather garments can be soft, velvety, brilliant or fleecy. Some kinds of leather have the pigment stain and capillary figure. Various sides of the dressed leather are used for manufacturing outer clothing, footwear, gloves or bags. There exists a set of ways of leather processing. The process pf using chemicals to turn skins into leather
is called tanning. The raw materials used by the leather industry originate largely as by-products of
the meat industry. Before entering the tanning process, the raw skins
are "cured" by salting or drying
them promptly. The cured skins are
soaked in pure water to eliminate salt, blood and dirt, and also to
replace moisture lost in the curing process. The next operation involves
deliming the skins by soaking them in a weak solution of acid, which
reduces the swelling caused by the
lime. Each type of skin may be treated by several tanning processes. The process is chosed according to the use for which the leather is intended. The two principal tanning processes are mineral, or chrome, tanning, and vegetable tanning.
From here goes a set of types of leather. A porous soft leather of chibouk, suede, velour, very thin gloving leather or a varnished leather for manufacturing footwear, bags and other accessories and, certainly, fur tanned sheepskin coats - all these products are made of different types of leather. In addition, each type demands specific care. Nevertheless, who does not know today, that preventive maintenance of leather clothes is more reliable than treatment ? Therefore, we will start with preventive care. Key rules of leather care are numerous.
New clothes of leather and leather accessories have a specific smell (it is one of attributes, according to which we distinguish a leather clothing from one manufactured from an artificial substitute). It is possible to get rid of it by means of ground coffee, sprinkled at the clothing, with clothing remaining with coffee for the whole day. (It is not necessary to do it with products of light leather as coffee can leave marks on them). Any clothes get dusty, as a rule. The most important thing is to eliminate the dust. Then it would be possible to clean, impregnate, paint
it , etc. For this purpose, it is possible to take advantage of a vacuum cleaner, so as to dust leather coats or accesories, or to wipe the thing with a damp rag.
It is really unnecessary to keep leather clothes in polyethylene bags, as it should breathe, after all. It is possible to put leather clothes into a bag made from a cotton or linen fabric. In addition, it is better to hang it on a coat hanger in a cool dark space. Hangers should be adjusted to a leather product's weight. It is better to use hangers with wide shoulder supports so that the humeral seams would not deform. Products made of leather usually have a thin layer and, that's why, it is unnecessary to subject them to frequent cleaning. Before going out for the first time in new leather clothes, it is desirable to process it with special impregnation. That would provide protection against moisture and dirt. If any stain gets on your new favorite garment, it is easier wiped off. Never apply gasoline, acetone and other solvents to clean leather products. They degrease leather.