What is so sensual about genuine leather and what causes its allure?
Is it the subconscious dependence we have with leather that it helped us survive as a species? Or is it the character that it exudes- especially as it matures in our care and use? Or is it the rarity of it that makes us admire a genuine leather article in the midst of artificial look-alikes? Whatever it is, the bond between humans and leather is special and strong and that is unmatched even with the introduction of synthetic materials.
While the affection to genuine leather may not be easily explainable, the properties of leather that commands our adoration is very tangible. Genuine leather is durable, has high strength-to-weight ratio, and is smooth, supple and pliable. It does not shed, peel or tear easily. Genuine leather matures gracefully often 'growing' with its owner, developing the character that reflects that of its user. It has the unique smell, touch and feel that is unmatched by any manmade material. Or maybe it is that our senses got attuned to the these salient characteristics of leather over the centuries.
But, with the advancement in technology, genuine leather is fast disappearing. Lookalikes and fake leather often coated with synthetics are termed as manmade leather are masqueraded as genuine leather. Many a times, unsuspecting patrons carry and display these leather as genuine leather. This prevalence of synthetic or man made leather is a due to two reasons- primarily, mankind's desire for leather and second, shortage of genuine leather.
Genuine full grain leather is in extreme short supply, especially due to changing consumer preferences and demand from developing economies around the world. However, as the demand for luxury goods crafted from full grain leather is ever increasing, the supply continue to be limited. Cowhide, as a primary raw-material for full grain leather is a by-product of meat industry. Each cowhide can yield about 20-30 square feet of full grain hide. Of this area, only about 50% can yield premium full grain leather maybe devoid of flaws, that can be used for luxury articles. As a result one cowhide can only yield effectively 10-15 square feet of premium full grain hide making it a rare material, with the cost unsustainable for markets. This dearth of supply of genuine leather drives the demand for artificial or man made leather. Thus coated or pigmented leather, split leather or suede leather often fill the demand as substitues for natural full grain leather.
Added to this rare supply, is the time consuming and labor intensive aspect of converting full grain hide from raw cowhide. Vegetable tanning process takes as much as 45 days and most of the handling is still undertaken manually. The finishing, sorting, grading of vegetable tanned leather is done one piece at a time, adding to the cost and complexity. Each peiece is finished, inspected by experienced artisans before it reaches Castello DaVarg. So before even Castello DaVarg touches the leather for handcrafting the articles, the leather itself is handcrafted with traditional skills that existed over centuries.
All this artisanship, complexity and rarity or premium grade genuine leather only adds to its allure and character. That is why Castello DaVarg seeks out only premium grade full grain leather for its articles, from select US tanneries. We continue to be amazed by the luxurious touch, feel and character of this amazing material. Every mark, every pore and every grain proclaim the authenticity. When we are creating articles with character, nothing less than authentic will do.
So what is it that makes genuine leather sensual? It is the the rarity, complexity, authenticity and character that makes it sensual.
Castello DaVarg, character comes standard.
If you ever come across leather that is peeling or shredding, chances are that it is bonded or one of those 'man made leather'. Try to stay away from them- they may look good as new, but will not make you look good in the long run.
At Castello DaVarg, crafting articles with character requires attention to detail and time. Our philosophy is that if nature took its time to develop the character of leather, we might as well take our time in crafting them that extends that character into our articles.