America, in particular, has many high-quality leather goods manufacturers. But it is also in the relatively small- batches manufacturers that the diversity is found. From coast to coast, this wide-spectrum cross-section constitutes the top-tier leather goods manufacturers in the country. These include names like Gann, handshake, Bruce Mansfield, Sp Unto, and Korsonite, just to name a few. The diversity extends beyond the types of leather used, too.
Tanneries are another crucial part of the American leather industry. Tanneries process hides from all over the world, including South America, Asia, and Africa. Tanneries also specialize in using all sorts of different types of hides, including nubuck, suede, and crocodile skin. The hides are tanned in special facilities and then coated in chemicals that protect them from the harsh elements of the sun and from water damage.
For leather goods, it is important to think about both the amount of leather produced and the amount of natural resources required to create those products. Because tanneries create large quantities of hides quickly and with short wavelengths that are often not suitable for use in traditional leather goods production, they have a significantly large carbon footprint. Leather products made from hides taken from the tropics are particularly vulnerable to being burned with high amounts of carbon monoxide during tanning tui da nu. The resulting soot that is often inhaled causes many thousands of premature deaths every year in developing countries.
To reduce the negative environmental impact of tanning, it is important that all leather products go through preparatory stages. The hides are prepared by removing the hair from the animal and then stripping the animal of all its fur. This is often done using extreme temperatures and can cause serious damage to the tender skin of the hide. After this preparatory stage is complete, the leather is ready to be made into usable products. Tanning strips used in this stage strip the animal of all its natural oils and are often covered in wax to prevent them from coming into contact with the leather itself. The use of these strips is widespread in countries such as India and Brazil, where cattle are often treated with pesticides and insecticides, both of which have detrimental effects on the environment.
Most leather goods are then prepared for sale. Most leather goods are prepared using non-vegetarian hides, which has a very large impact on the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. A large percentage of these emissions are from waste materials such as urine and meat. The reduction of animal fats in hides and the substitution of vegetable-tanned leather means that a large part of the CO2 emission is reduced. By using leather that is made from more sustainable sources, we can make our leather products even more sustainable and responsible.
Tanned leather is often the most economical leather option available, but is also considered to be the highest quality leather available. There are two types of leather to choose from, tanned using vegetable-based fats or tanned using animal-based fats. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Some manufacturers will dye the hides using pigments to give them a colour that will give the leather extra durability and wear; while others will use only top-grain leather for their products, because the process of tanning the hides does not affect their durability.