Thursday, 2 April 2015

Handmade Leather Bags – Shine to Finish

Now that you have been introduced to the various types of leather grains, it is time to delve deeper. We now look into the process that gives that handmade leather bag of yours the perfect finish, Tanning. It is a long and ardous process which is necessary to turn the processed hides into ductile leather. The steps involved in tanning sometimes number over a hundred and take over six weeks to complete. All of this simply to make sure that one special bag shines the best.
Once the soaking, wringing, drying and conditioning are over, the hide still requires finishing to make the material market ready. This is final phase before these hides are moulded into their various forms and it is here that these stretched membranes are given a make over to make them more aesthetically appealing. The type of finishing determines what kind of post sale care will be required, some of the commonly used ones are
  • Aniline – These retain the original grain of the leather complete with all scars and pores. They are formed using only soluble dyes that do not cover the original surface.
  • Pigmenting – Can be considered similar to painting a wall where the original surface of the hide is completely covered to hide all imperfections.
  • Nubuck – It is formed by buffing the top grain of the leather with a fine sand paper to give it velvet like appearance.
  • Suede – These are formed when the grain if buffed with a sand paper from both sides, that is why suede products are ‘fuzzy’ from both sides. It can be processed from any kind of leather though the best and strongest suedes are made from split leather.
  • Patent – Highly recognizable from their glossy finish, they are formed by coating the grain with PVC or polyurethane. Mostly used in high fashion footwear, sturdy but reduces the surface aeration.
There are ofcourse numerous other types of finishing applied to leather surfaces nowadays, such as Oily, metallic, waxy, Napa and bonded or reconstituted. But each of these can be derived from the parent set.
As always we here at the Antidote Store are concerned if your attention span has expired. So to remedy that simply contact us for all your leather related queries and we’ll try to answer them the best we can.

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