Leather Usage-From Primitive to Modern
Leather is a long lasting and flexible product which is used to make armours, jackets, shoes, belts, book binding and leather sofas. In ancient days, Armour is meant as a protective covering for people in war which was made of leather. Leather has its usage in making military equipment as well.
History of Leather:
For food, man was hunting wild animals during primitive days. They used to remove the animal skin and dry it and make dresses and footwear. Traces of using leather for clothing were found in caves and paintings. Leather was putrefied after sometime. As ancient human has stretched the animal skin by washing and drying it and later softened it using animal bone. This process is prone to decay after certain period. Later, it was discovered that wood smoke and usage of tannin found in tree barks, woods, leaves and fruits would prevent the skin from getting decayed earlier. Earth salt which contains alum was also used for tanning animal skins and hides. Leather was used as a raw material for producing equipment for military purpose such as armours, shields and harnesses. Leather was used to build boat framework. Leather manufacturing was popular in Britain due to invaders and presence of romans. During mediaeval period, tannery was present in every town.
Leather production process:
Crude form of leather was soaked in solution made of organic matters for fermentation. This will create elasticity of the skin. Then, the hairs attached to skin are removed with the help of stones or bones and scrapped it. Then, tanning was done with the help of organic matters from tree barks and leaves. For softening, oil and grease, egg rich in protein is used.
Leather production can be divided into three stages: a. Preparatory stage, b. tanning and c. crusting. This involves usage of chemicals like sulphuric acid and lime for tanning and softening. Chromium salt is used to produce modern footwear as per the trendy requirement.
Usage of leather in modern era:
Leather is being used as sport wear in the form of jackets for motor riding. Cheap leather sofas are famous for its comfortable, attractive and long lasting nature. Modern restaurants and hotels use leather sofas as it creates a good ambience look. Leather seating is present in many ships and modern cars.