Fashion trends come and go, and often come back into popularity years later. Leather is one such trend, used and worn for practical reasons in the early years, but now rising again to popularity as fashion. In the 1980s, European designers like Claude Montana, Versace, Armani, Ungaro, Fendi, Gucci, Alaia, and Hermes lead the way in designing leather apparel. However, the aviator jacket that General Patton wore during WWII and the black leather jacket that James Dean wore in the 1950s have helped create other spikes of leather popularity in the fashion world. Leather isn’t just popular for apparel — leather handbags, mens leather backpacks, leather briefcases, and even leather bracelets are popular items that consumers purchase. If you’re thinking about buying mens leather backpacks or a leather jacket, you should know what to look for, to ensure that you’re not buying a fake or a composite material.
How Is Leather Produced and Why Is It So Sought After?
Leather is made by tanning animal rawhide or skin. Cattle hide is the predominant type of rawhide used to create leather products, dating back centuries. Leather itself has been around for ages, stemming from our earliest ancestors who used it for survival. Tanning the skins of animals they hunted and ate created shelter, clothing, footwear, and other important functions. In the manufacturing leather process, there are three main sub-processes. The leather is prepared, then tanned, and finally crusted.
In the modern era, leather is still around and sought after for its longevity, flexibility (there’s nothing quite as comforting as a well worn leather jacket), and its leathery smell. Mens leather backpacks or briefcases, for example, may last for years and have many other benefits. Leather apparel breathes well, thanks to its porous nature, but is is also waterproof, resists many stains well, and is a warm layer thanks to its insulating properties when it gets cold. And of course, leather that’s been well worn is extremely cozy!
Yet, because of high prices for genuine leather (due to its more complex process and creation), leather tends to be more sought after as a luxury item. The highest quality types of leather are top-grain and full-grain and are usually used in the making of fine leather goods. The other two categories are corrected-grain and split leather.
Is Leather Still Popular Today?
Absolutely! If anything, leather’s popularity has seen a resurgence in recent years. As mentioned before, leather has become increasingly popular in the fashion industry. Absolute Breton, a leather accessories specialist, reported that leather decorations were becoming increasingly popular in 2015. In 2007, over 20 billion square feet of leather was created and in 2009, leather belts were valued at over $90 million!
Leather belts, gloves, wallets, and tote bags are common luxury items and over two percent of households with an annual income of $100,000 spent between $500-$599 on belts, gloves, and wallets; the majority of these were made of leather. Mens leather backpacks and women’s handbags are also commonly made of leather, thanks tot heir durable nature.
What Should I Know About Keeping My Fine Leather Goods In Good Condition?
Despite leather’s resilience, it does still need some looking after to look its best. If it’s exposed to low humidity (that is, under 40%) for a long period of time, it can often become dried out, which changes the fiber structure in a way that can’t be fixed. Try to avoid oil or grease when wearing your leather goods, since it absorbs the oil or grease, staining its appearance. Only protect your leather goods with the right kinds of material and clean them every six months for best results. Make sure you have clean hands as well, when caring for or using your leather goods.
Finding genuine leather is usually pretty evident from the price, smell, and feel of the material. A salesperson may also be able to assist if you can’t tell the difference. Make a fashion splash when you buy a leather product that’s sure to last for years with the right kind of care and only become more attractive and comfortable as time goes on.