Leather is one of nature's most versatile and sensual materials. It offers comfort and durability in a variety of beautiful finishes, textures and colors. Crown International apparel and accessories are designed with the quality and pride that have made us the world-wide leader in leather fashion. We know leather. Its characteristics. Its value. The way it makes you look good and feel good like any luxurious item should. Our remarkable leather fashions provide years of pleasure and long-lasting use. Through our experience we've learned the best methods for maintaining leather. The following information explains how leather is made and the best ways to keep your leather looking its best for years to come.
The History of Leather and How it is Made
Leather has been made in various locations around the world for more than 5000 years, and the first tanners guilds have been traced as far back as twelfth century England. Although tanning methods have changed with new technologies, the end result is a product that has been valued for centuries.
He first step in the modern tanning method is to apply a protective treatment to the hides (whole pelts from cattle) or skins (the pelts of younger or smaller animals). Next they are put through a chemical process to keep them soft and flexible. Now the tanners can work with the leather to adjust the thickness, color and apply a variety of finishes. The end product is sent to manufacturers, who cut and sew the leather into apparel and accessories.
The Look and Feel of Leather
When most people see leather, their first reaction is to touch it. The way leather feels is called its hand. In general, the softer the hand, the higher the cost.
The raw material, which is a determined by genetics, greatly influences the quality of leather. Every hide and skin has sections that are naturally wrinkled, softer or thinner in certain areas. Environmental factors, including climate and food supply, also affect the final product. Since leather is a natural material, it is never uniform. Its small surface imperfections create a unique beauty that can never be duplicated.
Leather is tear and puncture-resistant.
Leather protects from heat, cold and wind; and it repels moisture.
Leather items are available in a variety of weights and made with different linings for comfort in warm and cold weather.
Leather apparel stretches and molds to your body, yet at the same time retains its shape.
Leather breathes -- that's what keeps it soft and supple.
Leather is an agricultural by-product of the food industry. We purchase the hides and transform them into beautiful leather apparel and accessories.
Leather Protection and Care
Use a high-quality water and stain repellent product, like our Crown International and Suede Protector, to help prevent water stains and soiling. Our special formula is free of silicone and wax, ingredients that break down the natural oils in leather. We recommend Crown International and Suede Protector for all types of leather and suede. Apply immediately after purchasing your new leather item, and every two or three months with regular use.
Use a high quality leather lotion on a soft cloth to moisturize your finished leather. Crown International Lotion is specially formulated with lanolin oils to replenish natural oils and protect all fine, smooth and grained leather.
Avoid using cleaning fluid, shoe cream, saddle soap and mink oil. These products contain ingredients that may damage leather.
Don't keep heavy objects, such as key chains, in your pockets. Doing so will stretch the leather.
Avoid applying hair sprays and perfumes while wearing leather.
Don't attach pins, adhesive badges or tape to leather.
Repair hems with a small amount of rubber cement.
Gently blot liquid stains with a clean cloth.
Winter salt stains your leather, wipe with a clean, damp cloth and dry naturally.
Visit a professional leather cleaner for more serious stains. Normal dry cleaning methods will remove essential oils, causing the leather to crack, fade and shrink. A cleaner who specializes in leather care will use a different method to clean and condition the leather. Even this special process may cause slight variations in color, texture, and shape; so it is important to clean matching garments together.
If your leather becomes wet, allow it to dry at room temperature. (Never put leather in the dryer.) Then apply Crown International and Suede Protector. Buff suede with a soft towel to restore the nap.
If your garment has faux fur trim and the fur gets wet, dry it with a hair dryer set on the lowest temperature. Shake fur during the drying process, and periodically during wear to maintain loft and maximize appearance.
Store your leather coat or jacket on a wide wooden, plastic or padded hanger to help maintain its shape.
Store leather in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place. Avoid hot areas, such as attics; or damp areas, such as cellars.
Cover your leather with breathable cloth, like cotton sheets, when storing. Plastic bags or coverings will cause excessive drying.
Wrinkles and creases in leather should hang out. If ironing is necessary, place heavy brown paper over the leather and use a cool to medium iron. Take care not to overheat the leather, which will cause it to shine.
Avoid exposing leather to direct sunlight or heat for prolonged periods of time.