The leather is an organic material which is formed by chemically altering animal hides at the molecular level to render them to decomposition or putrefaction, meaning that they are resistant to decay which would normally be set an aging animal hide. The leather is a material made from the skin of an animal by tanning or a similar process. The quality of any leather good should be judged on the quality of the leather itself.
Leather hide can be separated into three sections:
Full Grain: this is the top layer; the part of the animal which is most exposed the elements. It is highly breathable but is also susceptible to imperfections (cuts and scars on the animals’ skin). Clear, supple, and clean, is consistent in color, has the highest yield of over 90% and the surface is smoothest.
Top Grain: top grain is durable, strong and has a higher stain resistance. Less consistent in color has a yield of 78% and the surface is slightly imperfect.
Genuine Leather: this layer is the softest, it has a comfortable feel, a material of closer resemblance to that of cloth. Genuine leather is regularly referred to as suede and is frequently used as a lining. It is a blotchy and very inconsistent in color has a yield of 40%.
Skins of different animals used to make different types of leather like sheep leather is soft, flexible and lightweight, making it suited to jackets and coats. Deer and elk skin are very durable, they can resist moisture and even when very wet dry back into shape. These leathers are used mostly for gloves and indoor shoes. There are the exotic skins, such as that of alligator, snake, and lizard, these leathers have elaborate patterns and are popular materials for use in belts, wallets, and embellishment.
Snakes are not the only animals who suffer for fashion. Millions of lizards, alligators, crocodiles, and other reptiles are violently killed every year so that their skins can be torn from their bodies to make wallets, belts, boots, and handbags. Reptiles may be cold-blooded, but wearing their skins is cold-hearted.
Most leather produced and sold in the U.S. is made from the skins of cattle and calves, but leather is also made from horses, sheep, lambs, goats, and pigs that are slaughtered for meat. Other species are hunted and killed specifically for their skins, including zebras, water buffalo, boars, kangaroos, elephants, eels, sharks, dolphins, frogs, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and snakes.
The process of turning animal skins into leather is cruel to animals, some of whom are slaughtered as babies, spend their entire lives in confinement, or are skinned or boiled alive for their hides.
The advantages of leather are durability, timelessness, style, naturalness, strength, leather breathes, flexibility, leather doesn’t cost much, eco-friendly, leather smells good.
Leather harms peoples and environment as until the late 1800s, animal skin was air- or salt-dried and tanned with vegetable tannins or oil, but today animal skin is turned into finished leather with a variety of much more dangerous substances, including mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes, some of them cyanide-based. Farmers suffered from skin ulcerations when they came into contact with the water supply.