Understanding the natural genuine leather
Since centuries natural genuine leather has been used in many aplications. The leather processing tehniques has changed mainly and generally in the middle of the 20 century when a chemical leather tanning began. Since then the leather was processed by a natural way. The process of preparing the leather from raw skin to a ready for production skin is called tanning. It origins from 16 th century when mainly tannins were used to preserve the leather.
For receiving best natural leather the most important thing is the source- the source of skins. There are many leathers from many animals, but the primary and most used leather production is the cow hide skin. The source of quality raw cow hide can be all over the world and it is determinant for each tannery to acquire best resource available in order to obtain best quality of cow leather. Good raw skins can be received from North America, some parts of Europe, Middle East, West and North Africa.
The leather tanning is the most important process after the raw skin source of course in receiving a high end leather. We can divide the tanning in two types already mentioned above- chemical tanning and natural tanning. Chemical tanning is when artificial substances have been used. The process may bring and preserve the leather, but one significant downside is that the leather looses it natural identity mainly on feel of touch. The process of chemical tanning is twice cheaper than the other process and today many of the natural leather production is focused on chemical production. This type of leather can be easily mistaken with the PU leather.
This is how the natural genuine leather looks
The natural genuine tanned leather or also called vegetable tanned leather is preferred by many. The vegetable tanned leather is made only with natural ingredients with the tradition of many generations. Most of the famous tanneries keep their ingredient recipes very secure and secret.
To understand fake leather (PU) from natural chemical tanned leather is tough. As the technologies are changing rapidly, must say it is very difficult these days to determine fake leather from a chemical tanned natural leather. The burn test is not determinative. The best diversification is the price. For instance if you are looking for a men wallet and the price is $5-$10, it can only means that the wallet is made of fake leather, because this much costs only the amount of natural leather that must be used for the wallet production.
To understand the fake leather from the vegetable tanned leather is quite easy. There are few things you can keep in mind. First is smell. The smell of the natural vegetable tanned leather must be consistent, imagine the smell of dark red wine where the smell stays with you a bit longer, same is with the natural tanned leather. You should feel a deep smell of it. Second is the scratch test. You can easily scratch the natural leather surface with a nail of the finger and then easily remove that scratch of the surface rubbing with the finger. Third is the price- the vegetable tanned leather is very expensive. It is more than twice expensive than the regular chemical tanned leather. A wallet claimed to be made of vegetable tanned leather should be not under $50- $60.
We advice before any purchase of a leather item to examine the additional leather type information on that product. The retailers who care for their customers do supply such information.