Fashion can be a funny thing sometimes, but it is always intriguing to watch the evolution and development of it. While some fashion has become tradition after humble beginnings out of necessity, we are now in an age where fashion for the sake of something new or daring or exciting urges on the progression of it. And yet even now, when one can watch a model walking down the runway wearing materials you never may have thought were wearable, there are still staples of the fashion industry that have origins in tradition and seem to have staying power. Check out any store selling leather totes and you will agree.
From leather totes to leather keychains to leather backpacks
Fine leather goods have been sought after for centuries, and it is no wonder they continue to be so popular. Not only has leather been manipulated into countless different styles and fashions, it is used in just as numerous different ways, with main attractive qualities being the strength, durability, and longevity of the material. Leather belts remain one of the most widely used, and leather totes such as leather messenger bags for men and women alike are hot commodities within the business and travel worlds. And whether there are leather totes involved or not, the average consumer is typically wearing about four different products that are made of leather at any given moment.
The basics of leather
As the material is so popular and widely used, most people know that it will often take special attention to care for leather products. The material is sensitive to oils and grease and easily absorbs it. It is important to handle leather with clean hands, as the natural oils of our skin can build up and affect it as well. Leather products should ideally be cleaned at least every six months in order to condition them and protect them from water spotting or soiling. The manufacturing of leather before it is fashioned into the final product consists of three main steps.
- The three steps of leather production
- Preparatory stages
The first is actually several steps rolled into one label. The rather involved and lengthy first step is referred to as the preparatory stages which involves taking the animal hair off and the hide is treated, among several other things.
Next comes the tanning part of the process. This step takes the protein of the raw hide and processes it into a more stable substance that will not end up rotting.
This step, similar to the first, is several different actions, but the main purpose is to thin, dry, and soften the material. There will often be a step to alter the color, and some add a surface coating at the end.
History repeats itself, or at least persists
Fashion does indeed evolve, but the main process of producing leather stays the same. The process is likely much easier than it was back during the Roman empire, when leather was used to make the sails of boats. It was also a main material used for the construction of furniture, weapons, tents and even armor. At that time, the material served a functional purpose, or rather several. And that necessity transformed into fashion about 1,000 years after that, when Egyptian women began to use the material in fashionable ways. The rest, as they say, is history. And we continue to write the history of leather. It is that reliable, durable, versatile material that lends itself so well to our many uses. And even as the catwalks change to bear outfits we may have never imagined, leather will continue to find its way into every household, in some way or another.