A Short History on Making Leather

YourMadeinItaly is honored to work with the skilled artisans throughout Italy that invest their life’s passion into every custom-made product.

Like every stitch in a quilt is made from love, every inch of a leather product by an artisan is made from lineal tradition and value, rendering the act of leather making an art.

Encyclopedia Britannica reports that leather making has roots in ancient times— over 7,000 years ago.

Skins of animals would be laid out to dry in the sun, and preserved with both salt and the process of smoking. This is what gives leather that deep, enriched brown color we adore.

Leather making was introduced by the Egyptians as well as the Hebrews all the way back in 400 BCE, while the Middle Ages bore witness to Arabs creating the leather into an image of a high-prize, rare gem of a product.

The Leather Resource takes us further.

What was once Mesopotamia (now Istanbul), was also a place where leather making found a home in fashion.

Between the fifth and the third millennium B.C., two groups— the Assyrians and the Sumerians— made long beautiful dresses for women out of tanned and smoked skins.

It was this civilization that created the leather we call “Morocco” today.

As for the Romans, they turned leather into all sorts of fashion attire.

Whether it be footwear, shields, horse harnesses, or clothing in general, the Romans were able to make use of the skins for all purposes of life.

Now comes the leather known as the “Cordovan”; introduced in 8th century Spain, this type of leather became popular under the Moors when “tanning” leather became more and more popular.

Tanning leather is when you alter the protein of the skin so it becomes much more sturdy and long-lasting due soaking the leather in an acidic chemical compound.

Decorating the leather became a trend then as well.

It was during the 14th and 15th centuries that the world adopted an ornamentation process through leather cutting where skins on the grain side would be cut into and carved through the thicker side.

Leather would also be stamped, dyed, painted and gilded, with all these developments originating in Asia and making its way across Europe.

All About Leather UK brings us up to the present.

“The growth of industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries created a demand for many new kinds of leathers, like belting leathers to drive the machines being introduced into industry, special leathers for use in looms in the textile industry, leathers for use as diaphragms and washers, leathers for use in transport and for furniture upholstery,” the article reports.

By the end of the 19th century, leather was refined to be smooth and almost soft so the tanning did not make it too thick and uncomfortable.

It is this kind of leather that our society sports in fashion often in our 21st century world!

Leather, in this way, is as timeless as it is limitless in its uses.

If you want to join the art and the process that is leather making, let YourMadeinItaly know what kind of product you’d like our artisans to make for you!

You’d be joining the centuries of tradition, fashion and wholesome experience that is wearing something custom-made, authentic and passionately made.

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