reasons of expensive leather

Hope this information regarding leather helps you to add information to your life, making it easy to understand and to think differently.


“Fully dyed” leathers are more expensive than semi-dyed leathers, which is not surprising given how difficult and time-consuming it is to locate better-quality skins that can be dyed.

In comparison to hand-antiqued leathers, some leathers can be completed by machine spraying, which is significantly less expensive. Moreover, it depends on the hue you’re producing. Manufacturing several hides in a single color as opposed to a few hides in a variety of uncommon colors is significantly less expensive.

The product is less expensive for the buyer because of the money saved by producing them in mass. You might anticipate that a white leather jacket or bag would cost more because “white” leather is the hardest color of the leather to produce.

What is Premium Leather made of?

The top layer of the hide, known as full-grain leather, is the same as premium leather. The leather with this sort of hide is the strongest and most permeable. Out of all leather types, this one has the most pleasant aroma.

The entire hide of the animal is used to create quality leather. The hide undergoes a thorough procedure that uses several techniques to extract the greatest qualities of the leather. The natural grain pattern becomes apparent once the hair has been removed during processing.


The type of leather used and the method of production are often what determines the price of leather goods. The highest grade leather is frequently thought to be full grain leather, with bonded leather and natural leather being the lowest.

In contrast to high street luxury shops, which typically stock real leather in order to offer more accessible rates, cheaper leather furniture, such as sofas manufactured of bonded leather, is more likely to be found.

On the other hand, designer labels typically employ full-grain leather, calf leather, or even rare leathers like an ostrich. The kind of animal skin used is another aspect that affects the price.

Since cowhide is the most prevalent type of leather, it costs more than less expensive alternatives like goat and buffalo leather.


It takes a cow at least a year to get big enough to produce a skin big enough for a huge panel rather than small parts sewn together while manufacturing leather. In addition to the time required, you will also need to feed and water the animal as well as maintain its safety and well-being. This is one of the factors that contribute to leather’s high cost.

 A single animal can only yield so much leather, and the leather must be properly cured and treated with a number of chemicals in order to make it attractive and useful. Leather is also incredibly heavy and challenging to handle. It takes specialized tools and knowledge to create something out of leather.

You have to start over from scratch if any mistakes are made throughout the production process.


Vegetable tanning, which uses natural coloring techniques like tree bark and tannin to color the leather instead of chemicals, is typically used to produce higher-quality leather goods. It costs extra since this process takes so much longer than other tanning techniques.

The process of chrome tanning, which uses chemicals to tan the leather and is much quicker and less expensive, is used to process the majority of leather.

Different Tanning methods

The substances utilized in the tanning liquid throughout different tanning methods vary greatly. Several typical types include:

  • Vegetable-tanned leather
  • Chrome-tanned leather
  • Aldehyde-tanned leather
  • Chamois leather
  • Brain-tanned leather
  • Alum leather

Vegetable-tanned leather

Vegetable tannins, such as those obtained from tree bark processed in bark mills, are used to tan leather. It is the first known technique.

It is soft and light brown in color, with the precise shade varying according to the materials used and the skin’s tone. The name “tan” comes from how vegetable-tanned leather appears when it is not colored.

Vegetable-tanned leather is not stable in water; it has a tendency to discolor and, if allowed to soak and then dry, shrinks and gets harder. This property of vegetable-tanned leather is used in traditional shoemaking.

It drastically shrinks and partially congeals in hot water, becoming hard and eventually brittle. An illustration of this is leather that has been “boiled,” or heated in the presence of wax or other similar materials, to harden it.

After hardening, it has occasionally been used as armor and for binding books in the past.

Chrome-tanned leather

Chromium sulphate and other chromium salts are used to tan leather that has been chrome-tanned. Due to the undyed leather’s light blue tint, it is often referred to as “wet blue.”

The chrome tanning process is best suited for large-scale commercial use because it typically takes one day to complete. The most popular technique in use today is this one. Compared to vegetable-tanned leather, it is more flexible and elastic and does not quickly lose its shape or color when exposed to water.

Although the trivalent chromium used in tanning is safe, other byproducts can contain dangerous forms of the heavy metal, which is why there are environmental problems with this tanning technique.

The technique was created in the second half of the 19th century when tanneries looked for ways to expedite the process and make leather more waterproof.

Aldehyde-tanned leather

Leather that has been aldehyde-tanned has been processed with oxazolidine or glutaraldehyde. Its light cream hue has earned it the nickname “wet white”. It is the most common variety of “chrome-free” leather and is frequently used in baby shoes and autos.

The use of formaldehyde for tanning is being phased out due to worker safety concerns and widespread formaldehyde sensitivity.

Chamois leather

A porous and extremely water-absorbent leather is created by the aldehyde tanning process used to create chamois leather. The oil used to make chamois leather, primarily cod oil, oxidizes to produce the aldehydes that give the leather its brown color.

Brain tanned leather

Brain-tanned leathers are produced through a labor-intensive process that employs emulsified oils, frequently those derived from the brains of animals such as deer, cattle, and buffalo. They are renowned for their great washability and softness.

Alum leather

The transformation of alum leather using Aluminum salts is combined with a variety of binders and protein sources, including flour and egg yolk, to create alum leather. Alum leather isn’t truly tanned; instead, it’s “tawed,” and the finished product turns into rawhide when submerged in water for long enough to dissolve the alum salts.


One of man’s first and most beneficial inventions is leather. To fend off the elements, our forefathers wore leather. The primitive man engaged in wild animal hunting for nourishment, using the hides to fashion clothes, footwear, and primitive tents. Similar to before, today’s skins are a by-product.

Animal hides and skins that have undergone chemical treatment in order to preserve them and make them acceptable for use as clothes, purses, shoes, furniture, tools, sporting goods, etc. These are some products which are leather used and have a high demand of sale all over the world.


Vendors frequently disclose the origin of the leather in their products in nations with sizable populations of people who follow religions that restrict the types of materials that can be used.

Such identification aids in religious observance, therefore, for instance,

A “Muslim” won’t unintentionally buy pigskin or

“Hindus” can stay away from cowhide.

The demand for religiously neutral leathers like ostrich and deer rises as a result of such taboos.

On Yom Kippur, Tisha B’Av, and during times of mourning, “Jews” are not permitted to wear leather shoes for comfort. also, see Torah Scroll and Teffilin.

Since leather is produced by murdering animals, it is forbidden in “Jainism”.

Knowing What Type of Leather You Have?

How can you distinguish between these three kinds of leather?

  • Aniline leather
  • Semi-aniline leather
  • Pigmented leather

Two effective ways to tell the difference are by touch and with a quick water drop test. You may need to perform a water drop test if you can’t tell the sort of leather by touch in some cases. Prior to caring for leather, be sure you complete these.


  • Aniline Leather: Because it hasn’t been treated, this leather will feel the lightest and smoothest to you; it’ll nearly feel like a second skin.
  • Semi-Aniline Leather: This leather will feel somewhat smooth and light, but not overly processed.
  • Pigmented (Protected Leather): This leather won’t feel smooth, soft, or light; instead, it will feel nearly plastic-like. The product will almost feel as though it had several coats of paint applied to it, all of which are obviously there to protect it. The majority of leather car seats are constructed from colored leather, giving you a clearer notion of how it might feel.


First, be certain to carry out this test on a concealed, unnoticeable portion of the leather.

  • Aniline Leather – A drop of water will almost instantly absorb into the leather.
  • Water drops will initially rest on the semi-aniline leather’s surface before progressively soaking in.
  • Water will sit or bead up on the surface of pigmented (protected) leather rather than soaking in.

Note: This article is based on personal research of our team SumeShag, if some information is less or missing, it will be updated with time. Hope this article will help people understand why leather is expensive, which leather is premium, why dyes and color make leather expensive, knowing what type of leather you have by test, what are the expensive types of leather, which tanning is expensive, what is the leather used for, different tanning methods and religious sensitivities.

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