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June 02, 2022 3 min read

by Moniq Youzwa

Monique has been a full-time freelance writer for over 5 years, plus has a few fiction credits under her belt and is currently working on a novel. When not writing, she spends her time reading, playing video games, hiking, and camping with her husband and daughter.


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Certain facts about leather are known by everyone. It’s durable, lasts a long time, has a fantastic smell, and looks awesome. Of course, there is much more to leather than most people realize. The following are some fun facts about leather that you didn’t know.

Centuries of Use

Leather has been used for centuries in ways you may not expect. As well as creating armor out of it, the Romans used leather for other items, like weapons, tents, furniture, and wallpaper.

They weren’t the only ones using leather either. Egyptian women wore leather as fashionable clothing, the English created handmade leather mugs, and in the early 19th century, leather replaced wood to make golf balls.

Exotic Leather

Most people assume leather comes from cows, goats, or sheep, though several exotic options are available. The skins of alligators, deer, ostrich, and snakes are a few of these.

Even some water-based creatures are used for leather in some countries. In Thailand, leather comes from stingrays. Siberians and Scandinavians were known for their salmon leather centuries ago, though this type of leather is only produced in Iceland and Norway these days.

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It’s Eco-Friendly

Leather is one of the best materials available for the eco-conscious. It is renewable, natural, and biodegradable, so it has a minimal environmental impact. Leather is also highly durable, lasting for decades. In the United States, as well as many other countries, leather comes from animals already being used for the meat industry, so there is less waste and fewer animals killed.

Though vegan leather seems like the better choice since it doesn’t use any animal by-products, most vegan leather is made of polyurethane, recycled plastics, or rubber. These materials lack durability, needing to be replaced often, plus they don’t biodegrade, adding to our already high carbon footprint.

Texture Changes

The texture of leather can change depending on its environment, due to the thousands of pores in the material. When in a humid environment, leather absorbs more moisture, becoming softer.

In drier areas, not only is there no moisture to absorb, but the material can lose what moisture it contains. The material becomes tough and could even crack if left exposed to such conditions for too long. When your leather items are not in use, it’s best to store them in a climate-controlled area to avoid such extreme conditions.

Fun facts about leather

White Leather Issues

Leather can be dyed a variety of colors, such as red, blue, purple, yellow, or green. White is also an option, though it is the most difficult to produce. This is because many hides can’t absorb the white dye without resulting in a cracked, unappealing look. Due to the tricky process to create white leather, it is the rarest option, and also the most expensive.

Final Thoughts

Leather is an extremely popular material, though there is a great deal more to it than most people realize. Of course, our fun facts about leather may just give you even more of a reason to buy leather jackets, purses, couches, and other handy items. If you have anything to add to our list, please feel free to let us know in the comments.


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