Quality of Leathers

Quality of Leathers (American Leather vs. European Leather)
Simply stated, America is cattle country; Europe is not. In the United States we have millions of head of cattle roaming the open plains. And contrary to the popular cowboy song, the skies DO get cloudy at times. In fact, in the dead heat of the summer sun and the freezing winds of winter, the cattle are exposed to the elements. They aren’t harmed by it, they just develop a “thicker hide.” Exposed to barbed wire, shrubs, brush, insect bites, gored with cattle horns, our American leather comes out tougher indeed, with what we like to describe as “characteristic markings” (scars).
European cows are pampered. Farmers do not have grazing lands and consequently have fewer head of cattle. More often than not, these cows are kept sheltered in barns during inclement weather and at night. As a result, the hides are finer, thinner and unblemished in comparison. European leather is finer in quality but not as durable as American leathers.
In this country, we have developed and used polymer coatings for leather and vinyl which never become stiff and brittle and wear extremely well. But we do not produce very many automobiles with leather interiors. Most of our leathers are used for furniture and wearing apparel. Some American leathers are colored with polymer coatings when durability and wear are important. But even with these coatings, the leather beneath will eventually dry out if not cleaned and conditioned periodically.
Prev Table of Contents Next