Leather, one of the hallmarks of innovations by humans, saw its inception during the days of the early man. Throughout the centuries to the modern day the use of leather garments and accessories continue to catch our fancy and see it get designed in various colors, shapes and sizes.
The idea of utilizing dried animal hides was there since prehistoric times when early man used it for clothes and shelter. The first leather artefact was recorded in 1300 BC, when man started appreciating animal skins for much more than just food. Various methods such as smoke and animal grease were developed to soften and preserve animal hide by-products. However, the art of vegetable tanning we know today was discovered by ancient Hebrew settlers
Ancient Greeks were the most prominent users of leather clothes and articles. Products like sandals and clothes made of leather were quite the thing with them around the 1200BC. The leather culture then spread to Egypt and was revered by the Pharaohs and Queens and later to Rome where foot soldiers used leather sandals as part of their uniform.
Meanwhile the technology of manufacturing leather became more sophisticated. As leather became more and more popular, it gave rise to professional tanners and leather craftsmen. During the Middle Ages, advance trade guilds were formed to maintain ownership of tools and supply of materials. Due to its durability and comfort, leather has been used as ideal material for making footwear, saddles and harnesses. It was also the best choice for making covers of dining chairs as it was easy to maintain and did not absorb the odor of food. It was not until the 19th century that an alternative method to vegetable tanning was invented. Chrome tanning, involving use of chemicals became the rage since it was invented. It cut down on the time for manufacturing as it eliminated the preparatory steps. Even today 80-90% of the tanning procedure involves chromium.
During the Victorian era, leather was used for a new concept – bookbinding. Novels of iconic authors such as Charles Dickens
and Oscar Wilde
have been gilded in leather and immortalized. Gradually, leather was used in automotive, aviation and marine applications as well.
Present day leather clothing and accessories continually draw inspiration from eras gone by. Nowadays exotic raw hides from crocodile, snake, and ostrich are in vogue, but the good old leather never seems to go out of style or functionality. Shoes, jackets, corsets, or collars, select your suitable leather product from Beverlyheels.com.