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Leather History - Articles Surfing
Have you ever wondered how leather was made? Where did leather come from? There are several stories and facts to answer these questions. Our purpose in writing this article is to try to explain as we have researched where leather originated and how it was made, up to the present time.
IN THE BEGINNING
We've all heard the saying "old as dirt" or "old as water" Well leather is about as old. If you look at Genesis 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God made coats of skins, and clothed them." In the beginning and is true to this day leather is a product of nature. God gave us the knowledge and skills thru time, to develop what nature provided, into many useful things.
Cavemen hunted for survival and in doing so used all parts of the animals they killed. The skin of the animals was used for protection in the way of tents, clothing and a sort of footwear. There have been sites found in Spain that have produced bone tools that was thought to have been used for scraping hides and skins. This process was done to remove hair and meat from the skin. The skins were then stretched and dried to be used for clothing as well as tents. For not knowing at this time how to tan the skins and hides they did not last long. A process referred to as putrefaction would cause the skins to get hard which would make them unwearable.
Preservation also known as tanning is an art in itself. There are many different ways to tan a hide depending on its use. One of the earliest methods of tanning was to stretch the hide on the ground and rub it with brains and fats from the animal while it was drying. This was a way to soften the hide, but was not a process that would last. The oakbark process of tanning as history tells it was created by the ancient Hebrews. This process is still used today. During the early days of the Roman Empire was when some of the tanner's guilds appeared. Leather products at this time consisted of some types of footwear, clothes and military equipment. Some other materials used in tanning were natural by using decaying leaves and vegetation. Earth salts that contained alum was discovered later. As time went on a process of tanning using chromium salts developed by an American Chemist reduced the time it takes to tan leather. This process takes hours to do rather than weeks or months.
Since the beginning of leather manufacturing from the caveman and before to the present, man has used hides or skins for the protection from the elements, warmth, and to make weapons and many other leather products. Technology in the tanning of leather has made it possible to manufacture quality leather in boots, shoes, jackets, purses and so many more items.
It is known throughout history that different cultures across the world had one common factor. That factor being, respecting life and honoring that which has given them life and provided for them after death. The human race has sacrificed animals since the beginning of time so that we could feed our families, provide clothing , houses and many other necessities to sustain our lives. Leather and the products made from leather is one of lifes most valuable commodities. Through present technology leather products are affordable to any person that has a need.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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