Is there anything on earth more beautiful than a purebred Arabian horse?
No matter how beautiful the horse is, we are not here to talk about that, we are here to talk about the beauty of this creative wall art handcrafted with a piece of genuine leather, just some colors and very little thread.
A brief history of leather goods
Man understood the importance of natural leather and its versatility very early in the early times. We find that the use of animal skins is very common and there is a lot of evidence for this matter. It was self-evident for primitive man, as he knew at first sight that these animals were warmed by their skin, and also protected from heat at the same time! He knew that the skin was a valuable thing and he would not waste it if he caught an animal to eat it.
So primitive man began to learn the principles and skills of obtaining skins from animals without destroying them. He also learned the different types of skins that may be useful and those that are useless and must be disposed of. We find evidence in almost all civilizations that humans use very primitive and ancient methods to recycle these skins.
Leathercrafts have been a major player in the global trade market for thousands of years, and some even claim that it may be the second oldest profession in the world. Today, it has undoubtedly become a major industry with huge economic importance on an international level. In just one year, 23 billion square feet of leather are produced, which represents about 45 billion dollars. However, the industry has not been affected since its inception, but it has witnessed many important changes. And the consequences, especially in the last twenty to thirty years. (Al-Qabas, 2020)
Source: Al-Qabas - Leather is the oldest industry in history, 2020 - online and available at: https://tinyurl.com/kb5e3e4a
Stages of manufacturing handicrafts from natural leather
The leathercraft artist begins by finding the best natural leather obtainable that is certified by LWG, a global organization that certifies the quality and safety of natural leather used in antiques, gifts, and everything made from natural leather. At this stage, the artist wants to ensure the nature and safety of the leather itself before starting work on it. Then it begins the preparation process, which is the treatment of salt, protein and other elements contained in the natural leather.
After that, the calendering process begins, which is considered another stage in preparing the natural leather to be ready for use in various artistic and handmade works. At this stage the artist wants to remove all of their hair/scalp and follicles. He wants to reach a certain pH level to ensure that there is no element in the skin that will damage it in the future. The skin is placed in metal vats filled with lime to do this.
Here comes the drying stage. The factory dries natural leather in two stages, the first using sunlight and the second using equipment designated for this matter. The purpose of this stage is to dry all elements that are still present in the skin even after cleaning and scaling operations.
Then the cooling process begins! The skins are placed at very low temperatures after the drying process, in order to kill any type of bacteria or viruses that are still present in the skin after all these stages! Remember, it's the skin of a living being!
Before finishing comes the final stage, which is “salting” the natural leather. Manufacturers and artists use king in large quantities to process the protein in the skin. They don't want this protein to go rancid, react, or give off any odor. Salt does a great job with this.
Finally comes the tanning and finishing stage. This stage will finally prepare the natural leather so that it is ready to be worked on in various leather handicrafts. At this stage, the leather is chemically treated and some compounds are added to it, such as layers or reinforcements, to ensure that the leather retains all its properties for the longest possible period.