An exemplary example of human innovation and creativity Leather has certainly played a significant role in the evolution of civilization. From the beginning of man to the present times, leather has become an essential feature of nearly every phase of fashion and design.
The advantages of using dried animal hides were first recognized during the prehistoric period when humans began using early kinds of leather for shelter and clothing in extreme weather. The first recorded pieces of leather made by primitive people are from 1300 BC before man started to see animal skins as more than a food by-product. The early civilizations around the globe developed their own methods of softening and preserving the animal hide by-products employing methods handed from fathers to sons over many generations, like smoking as well as animal fat. But, it is believed that the technique of vegetable tanning as we see it today was first discovered by the ancient Hebrew colonists.
There is a reason why the Ancient Greeks were known to make use of leather to create sandals, as well as other clothes in the Homeric time period, which was the year 1200 BC. The use of leather began to expand into Egypt which was revered and loved by Pharaohs and queens and then to Rome where it was widely employed by foot soldiers to make armory and protective clothing.
As societies became advanced and sophisticated and sophisticated, so did the size of production and the methods that were used to make leather. With the advancement of technology, professional tanners and craftsmen began to form advanced trade guilds in the Middle Ages in order to keep ownership of their tools and control the materials available. It wasn’t till the late 19th century that an alternative method to the traditional method of vegetable tanning was discovered. Chrome tanning is the use of chemicals that streamline the production process to ensure that all of the necessary preparatory steps for traditional vegetable tanning can be removed. Today, 80 to 90 percent of tanning in the world uses chromium.
It is not just used for clothes and accessories, but it has been used for a long time to support the industry of bookbinding due to its popularity in the Victorian time period. Novels written by famous authors like Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde have been immortalized with gold-plated leather, and the first editions can fetch hundreds of dollars at auction.
The contemporary market for leather accessories and clothing continues to draw inspiration from past eras because of the emphasis on craftsmanship and heritage. From leather boots with a rugged look reminiscent of Western cowboys to the retro aviation style that is a symbol of the wartime era, modern fashion designers draw references and influence from the past to design the next generation of leather products.
Because of its long-standing heritage, historic styles are always relevant to leather fashion. But, designers constantly look for new, creative methods to showcase the iconic fabric and its potential. More often exotic rawhides like snakeskin, crocodile, and ostrich have been featured on catwalks as well as the pages of magazines that are upscale and fashion magazines, as well as distinctive leather-based finishes, such as suede and patent.
Although it isn’t it be possible to predict the next trends or fashions but it is safe to be stated that leather will always be a part of modern society, regardless of its style or practicality.