Leather Buying Guide
Leather is Natural Product
The leather is a natural product that responds differently to soil and light. Some types of leather have greater resistance because of the techniques used in finishing the hides. These distinctive features are unique and testify to the authenticity of genuine leather, a natural product that has been raised rather than engineered. No two hides will be identical, as with all things in nature.
The leather is a natural byproduct created from the skin of animals and therefore may have markings and imperfections just like human skin. These markings can come in the form of scars, bug bites, defects, fat wrinkles, and brands. The markings are what makes each piece of leather unique, and is a sign that you are purchasing genuine leather. Avetco leather strives to provide our customer with the highest quality skins available. When purchasing, please expect skins to contain some “imperfections.”
Shade and Tone Variation
Because leather is a natural product, each individual hide will absorb dyes and finishes at varying degrees and react differently during the treatment process. This means that even when two hides are finished in the same way and with the same vat of dye, they can still be different colors! Even within a single hide, some areas of the skin may absorb more dye than others creating light and dark areas in the leather. This is most noticeable in pure aniline leathers. Sometimes this is a desirable effect and is enhanced by hand-applying lighter and darker dyes during the process.
Leather hides are a byproduct of the beef industry. These improved scratch marks are evidence of this cow’s unsheltered life. These cattle are out in the open with all the insects, barbed wire, and cattle horns. Scratches, bites, and brands all leave scars, and these markings are desirable. They will show up in all pure anilines and semi-anilines. These unique characteristics are your assurance of genuine leather.
Neck and shoulder creases appear as elongated furrows. Wrinkles naturally occur in a hide because of the neck stretching and contracting. Skin located on the neck of a steer is full and loose. This enables the steer to have the flexibility it needs to move its head while grazing. Wrinkles naturally occur in the hide.
Variation in Grain
The grain on leather hides is as unique as fingerprints. No two hides will ever look the same. Just as if the skin on our fingertips is different from the skin on our knuckles, the grain can change across the surface of a single hide. The area from the neck is soft and wrinkled, and the area along the backbone is smoother. It is not unusual to find stretch marks, veins, and wrinkles in a hide.
Stretch marks appear in cowhides for the same reasons they do in humans. The process of giving birth requires the stretching of the skin to accommodate the new calf. Nothing could be more natural.
Veins are an indication of the age of the animal and in that respect are similar to the graining on a piece of wood. They range from often quite pronounced marks in the neck area to subtle bands across the hide vertically to the backbone. Again, these are quite natural.