Bring It Up a Notch with Dyed Leather Fabric

Bring It Up a Notch with Dyed Leather Fabric

Leather is a flexible, durable material that is produced by tanning the skin and rawhide of animals, usually cattle. Leather can be dyed and is created at various scales of manufacturing ranging from heavy industry to cottage industry. Various goods are made with leather including clothing such as belts, trousers, skirts, jackets, hats and shoes. Other goods include furniture upholstery, leather wallpaper and bookbinding. Leather is created in different styles and types and decorated using a broad array of techniques.

Dyed Leather From Unusual Animals

These days, cattle skin is what most leather is made from. However, exceptions such as deerskin and lamb are used for more expensive apparel and softer leather. Elk skin and deer are used widely for creating indoor shoes and working gloves. In apparel and on saddle seats, pigskin is used. For leather, yak, ox, kangaroo, ostrich, snake, alligator, goat and buffalo skins can also be used. Flexible, strong items are made from kangaroo leather. Commonly, this is the leather used in bullwhips. Due to its abrasion resistance and light weight, most motorcyclists prefer kangaroo leather. It is also used for boxing speed bags, soccer footwear and falconry jesses. At different points in time, it had been considered desirable to possess leather made from exotic skins. This is why crocodile and snakes had been hunted. Originally raised just for their feathers, ostrich is now popular for both leather and meat. Varied methods produce various applications’ finishes such as car products, footwear and upholstery. This also includes clothing and accessories. Leather derived from ostriches is now used currently by many world-renowned houses of fashion including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Hermes. Leather from ostriches has a goose-bump characteristic due to the large feather’s follicles which they had grown out of.

Stingray leather in Thailand is used in belts and wallets. Leather from sting-rays is durable and tough. Often, leather is covered with tiny round bumps and dyed black. This is the natural pattern of the animal’s back ridges. To highlight the decoration, the bumps are then dyed bright white. Rawhide from stingrays is also utilized as Chinese sword grips, Japan katanas and Scotland basket hilt swords. Leather from stingrays is used also for high areas of abrasion in motorcycles leather gloves for racing where its high resistance to abrasion helps in the prevention of wear and tear in the event of a mishap.

The Process of Producing Leather

The process of leather production involves three basic sub-methods including the stages of preparing, tanning and crusting. These processes are something that all leathers go through. There is also surface coating that happens as a further sub process which can be added to the sequence of processing leather. Not every type of leather goes through surface treatments, however. Since there are a ton of different kinds of leather in existence, it is not really easy to create an operations list that every type of leather goes through.
When the skin or hide is prepared for tanning, this is the preparatory stage. These stages can include depickling, pickling, bleaching, frizing, degreasing, bating, deliming, reliming, splitting, fleshing, unhairing, liming, soaking and preservation. The process for getting the raw skin or hide protein stabilized is called tanning. This is done so the skin is preserved, making it suited for various end uses. The main difference between tanned and raw hides is that the raw version become dried out, forming an inflexible, hard material that putrefy when rewetted. On the other side of the coin, leather material that has been tanned dries out to a form that is flexible and when wetted back does not become putrid.

Leather Tanning Methods

There are many materials and tanning methods in existence. Ultimately, the choice depends on the leather’s end applications. Chromium is the most common material for tanning. This leaves the tanned hide in a color of pale blue, since this is the color of chromium. At times, ‘wet blue’ is the term used for this. When finished pickling, the hides are usually between 3.2 and 2.8. Again, these products are called wet blue. While the drums rotate slowly on an axis, the hides get soaked. Slowly, the tanning liquor then soaks through the hides’ full thickness, penetrating its entirety. Periodically, workers cut a hide’s cross section to observe how much the liquor has been soaked through into the hide. Once even penetration is achieved, the float’s pH is raised by the workers. This process is called basification. Basically, what it does is fix the material for tanning to the leather. The leather’s shrinkage-resistant temperature and hydrothermal stability depends on how much the tanning material has penetrated through. The pH of leather that is chrome-tanned is usually between 4.2 and 3.8.

The process that lubricates, re-tans and thins leather out is called crusting. This usually involves the operation of color. During crusting, chemicals added need to be fixed in place. The end of crusting is a softening and drying method the can involve whitening, dyeing, filling, re-tanning, shaving, splitting, fixating, setting or drying, among others.

In the process of finishing, a surface coating is applied for some leathers. Operations of finishing include glazing, ironing, embossing, plating, polishing, spraying, buffing, padding, brushing and oiling.

The Passage of Time

With the passage of time, there tends to be a break down in the natural leather fibers. Leathers that are acidic are especially vulnerable to red rot which causes surface powdering and a consistency-change. Red rot damage is aggravated by humidity and high temperature. Even if it is irreversible chemically, treatments can be done to prevent red-rot leather from disintegrating and can add handling strength.
Dyeing leather is a great way to boost the way your interiors look, not to mention your outfit. Leather interiors and leather apparel can be dyed in a million different hues; all you need to do is to decide on your favourite color.

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