How well do you know your leather?


How well do you know your leather?

Did you know that there are 5 different grades of leather?

We’re here to clear up some common misconceptions about leather. While still introducing you to some cool and fun facts you haven’t heard before.

So let's put your leather expertise to a test!
SANDMARC Leather iPhone Cases

1. The origins of Leather

Here’s a rundown on the history of leather. We’ll set aside the boring stuff and focus on the cool facts that brought leather to life. Through centuries of experimentation and finding warmth leather was born. The layer of the cow's hide is hung out to dry in the sun, only for people to realize it can be used to keep warm. Through the experimentations it was discovered that preserving the leather by methods of salting and smoking the hide kept it from decomposing and lasted longer. Oh and removing the flash from the hide helped too and provided them additional comfort.
Layers of leather stacked on top of one another

2. Top Grain isn’t Top Leather

While top grain is still high quality leather it isn’t the highest quality out there. Full Grain Leather is the highest quality leather there is on the market. Top Grain leather is a more flawless version of Full Grain in a sense where it undergoes a sanding process that removes any natural imperfections in the leather.
Top Grain Leather

3. How Genuine is Genuine Leather?

A lot of you might be surprised to know that genuine leather, while still real leather, isn’t genuinely the best leather. Genuine leather is the cheapest leather you can get from real leather. It is a thin layer cut from any part of the hide, usually the lowest and goes through a sanding or buffing process.
Genuine Leather

4. Real Leather is natural and here are its powers

Let’s get scientific for a moment. Here’s what makes leather so unique, since leather is natural it breathes all on its own. What this means is that it possesses physical properties that enable it to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Leather’s secret is that it has high tensile strength and great heat insulation. Which also makes leather resistant to various elements like; fire, fungi, chemical attacks, wet & dry abrasion, puncture, flexing, and tearing. Leather also contains elastic and plastic properties. Leather is also able to retain a new shape by being molded.
Brown leather rolled up

5. Unusual Leathers

Leather doesn’t just come from cows, there are 7 unusual ways leather can be formed from uncommon creatures. You may see them more in high end fashion, or within countries outside of the US and UK.
Ostrich Leather texture
While Ostrich is known to be farmed for their feathers in recent years it seems they have another calling. Ostrich leather is well known for having a bumpy texture due to its feathers and has become very desirable. Ostrich leather is reserved for high-end fashion products and can be seen as the material used in luxury brands.
Kangaroo Leather Texture
Here’s another odd one, Kangaroo leather. Not the most aesthetically pleasing hide, however its popularity comes from its rugged but also flexible nature. Their strong yet fairly light leather is used for bullwhips, motorbike leathers, and boxing speed bags.
Lizard skin leather texture
Similarly to snakeskin and crocodile leather seen in luxury brands to make handbags and boots. Lizard skins have an extremely smooth texture and are generally used to make small bags and watch straps. As they produce the least amount of leather from the reptile family they have a certain niche where they produce a wide range of colors.
Stingray leather texture
Now let's take a dive underwater and visit our sea creatures. Stingray leather is popular in Thailand where they prefer it for the materials strength and durability. Stingray leather is typically black with white bumps that portray natural patterns of the Stingray. Their leather can be seen to make products like belts and wallets.
Eel skin leather texture
Eel leather has the same thickness as cow leather, however it is 150 times more powerful in strength. Eel skins are naturally very thin so their leathers are typically paired with another material. Eel leathers have an elegant aesthetic and are seen in car and furniture upholstery.
Salmon-fish leather texture
Fish leather has been the newest edition in the leather world, as it can be used from many different species. Common fish used for their leather are Carp, Salmon, and Perch. Which are all seen in fashion accessories like necklaces and bracelets. These materials have been used in small quantities by companies like Prada and Nike.
Shark Leather texture
Now we’re swimming in dangerous waters! Shark leather is known for its toughness and durability. It is usually refined if it is used to make delicate products like clothing. It can be seen to make jackets and gun holsters. Shark skin leather is very popular when it comes to making cowboy boots as they are rugged but have a pleasing shine.

6. Leather has multiple purposes

There are many different uses for leather, here are 10.
Leather jackets
Leather is very common when it comes to making clothing. It’s often used to create pants, jackets, skirts, & raincoats.
Leather Equestrian Products
Leather is used in all kinds of equestrian products like; horse hoof boots, rider boots, tendon boots, Reins, and the stirrups.
Leather book bindings
Leather is typically used to bind or finish books.
A collection of leather shoes
Another common product leather is used in is to make footwear like; boots, slippers, heels and more.
Cuir Bouilli leather armour
Cuir Bouilli
This is a French term referring to boiled leather, which was historically used to craft flasks and body armor.
Leather Couch
Furniture like chairs and couches have been made from leather. As well as the interior of automotive vehicles.
Leather wallet from Harber London
Fashionable Accessories
Accessories like belts, wallets, bags and watches commonly use leather.
Vintage leather boxing gloves
Leather is used to make a lot of sports related gear like footballs and baseball/boxing gloves.
SANDMARCs leather iPhone Pro cases
Sunglass cases or laptop/phone cases are typically made from leather as well.
Leather Knife Sheath
Gun holsters and knife sheaths commonly use leather.