China’s leather industry is known for heavy hides used to make belts, straps and soles, as well as lightweight leathers used for shoes, bags and jackets. In 2019, China contributed 40.8% to the global value of leather goods exported, followed by Italy (14.8%) and France (11.5%).
Leather not only lasts, but also retains its quality over time. Leather resists dry abrasion, can be fire resistant (if treated for it) and is partially waterproof. In contrast to other materials, leather is also resistant to house dust mites and fungal infestation.
Leather can be used to make a wide variety of items, including clothes, shoes, handbags, furniture, tools and sports equipment, and will last for decades.
China. China is the largest leather producing country in the world with an annual leather production of over 6.2 billion square feet, which is more than 25% of annual global leather production.
Lambskin is the softest type of leather available because, unlike other types of leather, it comes from an immature animal. Its delicate, airy layered structure gives it an incredibly smooth, velvety feel.
The short answer is that quite frankly the Italians are the best and most skilled leather craftsmen. There is no other country in the world that can match this quality and that is largely due to the highly skilled artisans, the high quality hides used in their products and their dyeing process.
The leather is then ready to be processed into a variety of products. This includes shoes and boots, outerwear, belts, upholstery materials, suede products, saddles, gloves, luggage and purses, and recreational equipment, as well as industrial items such as polishing wheels and machine belts.
Leather has many different end uses
Leather can be engineered to be durable enough for furniture yet soft enough for comfortable shoes. The finest suit gloves or protective, abrasion-resistant motorcycle gloves are produced. Leather makes the supplest jackets or the sturdiest hiking boots.
Leather is more sensitive to temperature changes, where it can feel warmer in summer and cool in winter. The wear of the leather is very constant. Initially, leather can be stiff when you buy it, but over time the material becomes more flexible and looser.
Hides are preserved with toxic chemicals.
Animal hides are made into finished leather through the application of a variety of hazardous substances, including mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and Surface treatments – some based on cyanide.
Since Italy is practically synonymous with leather, to be considered the best tannery in the country is a tremendous achievement. The Badalassi Carlo tannery is located here today.
Cowhide is much cheaper and more versatile than any other type of leather. It is flexible, breathable and supple and often conforms to the shape of the wearer’s body. Cowhide leather is durable because it handles sunlight and heat well, and it’s also commendably water-repellent.
Typically, the most common leathers used by high-end designers range from patch leather and faux leather to lambskin and cowhide. By examining the type of leather your bag is made of, you can understand how it can be cared for and kept spotless.
Known for its strength and durability, full-grain leather is the highest quality and most desirable leather; It is separated from the thickest and outermost part of the skin, giving it its resilience.