Paula's Fine Leather
Leather Accessories for the Modern Professional
Paula's Fine Leather is a family-run manufacturer, distributor and retailer of the finest leather products. Founded in the year 2000, Paula's Fine Leather has been growing by focusing on the needs of their customers. Whether you are looking for a leather briefcase, a wallet, backpack, or even a leather jacket; Paula's Fine Leather is your ultimate destination.
If you're interested to know more about leather in general, please read the following article about some of the various leathers that we utilize to manufacture our award winning leather products:
Leather is an historic material made durable by tanning hides and skins of cows, although virtually any domesticated animal such as pigs and sheep, can be the source of leather. Tanning converts the skin into a durable material which has virtually unlimited uses ranging from accessories to tools to industrial belts, etc.
It is easy to see that leather is an extremely important commodity with varied uses. Leather, quite literally, pre-dates history and is rooted in ancient methods which continue to this day. What differentiates the leather industry from the fur industry is that the leather is a byproduct of the beef industry; whereas in the fur industry, the fur is not the natural byproduct of farming the animals.
There are many processes where cowhides can be transformed into leather or leather wallets.
Vegetable tanned leather is tanned with vegetable matter. For example, tree bark. It is brown in color with the shade dependent on the chemical mixture and the color of the cowhide. Vegetable-tanned leather is unstable in water. Water will discolor it and render the leather rigid and brittle. Boiled leather is where the leather was purposely hardened with hot water, wax or other hot liquids. Boiled leather was used in armor and book binders since it was hard yet light weight. If youíre interested in leather carving, this is probably the preferred leather to use.
Chrome-tanned leather is tanned with chromium salts. It is supple and pliable reacting much better with water since it keeps its color better.
Rawhide is manufactured by literally scraping the skin thin. After which it is soaked with lime and then fully stretched taut until it dries completely. Rawhide is stiff and relatively fragile despite its name, but its useful for things like drums or for applications where the leather does not need to flex.
Leather can be oiled to repel water. Frequent oiling with some sort of oil based leather conditioner keeps the leather soft and increases lifespan.
At the upper end of the leather spectrum is "Full-Grain leather," which is a clean and natural leather which has not been corrected since very few imperfections existed in the natural hide. Only the cow's hair is removed. The natural grain also breathes better and is more comfortable in clothing, particularly leather jackets. Full-Grain Leather wears better and rather than simply wearing out it will slowly caramelize. Aniline leathers are almost always a full-grain leather.
Top-Grain leather is fuzzy on one side and smooth on the other. The smooth side is the outer side. The hides are made from slightly inferior quality raw materials and the natural grain has been removed and the smooth surface applied.
With suede, the grain is completely removed and it is often an interior split of the hide. During the splitting operation the grain and drop split are separated with a precise machine. The best suede is made from the flesh split shaved to the correct thickness and it is often fuzzy on both sides. Its less durable than top grain leather but it is cheaper because from the same piece of hide, more suede can be produced.. Suede is "fuzzy" on both sides.
Vachetta leather is used as trimmings in luggage. It is often untreated and can be stained by water and sunlight will also tend to discolors it.
Nubuck is top-grain cattle leather which has been sanded, but has not been completely smoothed, which gives the leather a velvet like feel.
Belting leather is a full grain leather that was originally used in industry. It is often found on the surface of briefcases and wallets, and can be identified by its thick, firm feel and smooth finish. Belting leather is often favored for these applications because it is one of the few leathers that can retain its shape without an independent frame.
Napa leather is soft and supple, typically found in personal items because it is of relatively low cost. It is typically derived from sheep.
Leather Preservation: The natural fibers of leather will biodegrade with the passage of time. Acidic leathers are subject to red rot which powders the surfaces and changes the leather's consistency. High temperatures and humidity will aggravate the problem.
Exposure to long periods of low relative humidity can cause leather to become desiccated, but nevertheless the greatest threat to leather still remains water and high humidity.