The leather industry is one the oldest industries known to man. His earliest ancestors used skins to protect their body, hands and feet. Leather is produced from the skin of animals, reptiles, and birds, even fish. The skin undergoes a process known as Tanning, which preserves the skin, which would otherwise quickly decay.
Imagine an almost Pre-historic man (or woman) living in a cave or some other basic dwelling. The word resourceful comes to mind purely because without a modicum of resourcefulness man would never have progressed from base one.
The Use of Leather
These days the leather industry is very much based on modern manufacturing techniques which don’t only use animal derived products but also synthetic products which are made to resemble leather in their make up and applicable uses. The modern day requirements for leather are more and more widespread with shoes, clothes and accessories, furniture and car seating being made from leather product but also beds, wall panels, sports equipment, the list seems endless.
Because real leather is very much a by-product of the meat and wool processing industries, the supply of hides is, at times, spasmodic and can be geographically variable and in fact hides are traded as a commodity on world trade markets in the same way that such things as iron, steel, oil and coffee are traded. As a result of this, prices can rise considerably as trading dictates. It is therefore understandable that the supply of hides is dictated by the consumer demand for beef in any particular part of the world.
Today worldwide, over 50% of the leather produced is made into shoes or other footwear and approx. 25% is made into clothing. The remaining 25% goes into the manufacture of upholstery, car interiors, bags and accessories and other consumer products.
The use of leather as seating within the home furnishing and transportation (automotive vehicles, airlines, marine etc) sectors is largely due to its durability, serviceability and the fact that as a covering it is also very comfortable. Even though its use in the previously mentioned products has risen sharply, over the past 30 years or so, it shows no decline and this is demonstrated by the fact that most top end cars from leading manufacturers come with non-leather interiors as an option rather that the reverse.
Subsequently the Leather Repair industry prospers with more and more companies providing leather repair and conditioning services. In short if you want to get the best out of leather goods, whatever configuration or use, then you need to maintain it correctly. Leatherfix UK Ltd was formed a number of years ago to assist in this specific area of leather use and application.