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Now that you have decided to make a fashion statement by wearing a leather wristband or leather watch band, you probably want to know how we make our leather. Leather is made from different animals, in general, but The Level Collection is very careful with its supplier base, so we are so careful that there is a consistency that can be found in all of our products. Cheaper leather suppliers and manufacturers will use any number of different animals and “split” the leather (referred to below) to create an almost “artificial” feeling to the leather.
At the Level Collection, we work hard to supply you with the highest quality, most consistent leather product possible, even though there are natural variations from animal to animal.
The process of creating leather itself is quite complex—from the skin to the finished product. The steps themselves are often referred to as “tanning” from the most distinctive part of the process, which uses tannic acids present in plant matter to chemically alter the leather so that it will not putrefy or rot. Without the tannic acids, animal hides would quickly break down and begin to create a horrific odor. So the animal hides must be treated to form leather.The process has two basic stages: wet blue processing and finishing, both of which are accomplished in large commercial spaces known as tanneries.
To state it simply, skin has three layers beginning with the epidermis, proceeding to the derma, and ending in the adipose (the flesh). Only the strong and flexible derma is desired. When leather is processed, everything is stripped away except this middle layer. First, the flesh is cleaned off of the hide. Then the hides are washed and soaked, restoring moisture to dried hides and loosening dirt and blood. Chemicals are added so the water is alkaline, dissolving the hair and epidermis completely. When this process is complete, the water is brought to a stable pH, and enzymatic cleaners are added to remove all remaining organic debris. Finally, the hide is pickled in a acidic solution to prepare it for tanning.
Tanning agents cause the hide to resist bacterial attack. After this, the hides are removed from the wet blue processing tank, ran through rollers to remove excess water, and are ready for finishing.
Lower quality hides might now be split to the desired thickness then re-tanned with different materials to make it appear firm or soft. But our leather is not split, except to create a uniform thickness, and then dyed. After dyeing, the leather is oiled so that it will remain flexible and soft. Then the leather is dried, mechanically treated to soften it, and buffed so that it will have a smooth and attractive surface.
The beauty of our final product at The Level Collection is that it is natural, consistent, and well-made without any artificial processes. Now that you know how it is made, check out us so you know how wonderful natural leather can feel!