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FSN 132 (24)
Chapter 6

In Fashion - Chapter 6 .docx

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FSN 132
Luann Lafrenz

Chapter 6: Leather and Fur The Leather Industry - Highly specialized and time-consuming; must anticipate and predict trends far in advance - 8-16 months before a leather will reach apparel manufacturers; fashion industries usually depend on them Categories of Leather The Equine Group - Horse provide rugged leather; some is tanned into cordovan leather (durable and sturdy shoe uppers), leather jackets - Pony skin is really stenciled calfskin; real top-quality from wild horses in Poland and Russia The Exotic Leathers - Diminishing worldwide, driving prices up sharply - Alligator is now not endangered because of the policy sustainable use: - Environmental program that encourages landowners to preserve eggs and habitats in return for right to use a percentage of grown animals - Consumers usually mix up with alligator products as crocodile products in high-end stores Leather Processing - Animal pelts divided into 3 classes based on weight - 15 pounds or less: skins (calves, goats, pigs, sheep) - 15-25 pounds: young horses, cattle, called kips - 25+ pounds (oxen, buffalo) are called hides - Process of transforming animal pelts into leather is tanning - 3-6 months needed to tan hides for sole leather; tanning process requires minerals, vegetable materials, oils, chemicals Tanning Methods - Mineral tanning uses chrome salts – used to process 2/3 of all leather; fastest (hours rather than weeks); identified by pale, blue-gray colour in the centre - Vegetable tanning uses tannic acids from bark, wood/nuts and in tea leaves - Identified as dark centre streak; labour intensive= less is done in US - Processing with oil is oldest method of turning raw animal skin to leather - Quickest method of tanning relies on chemical formaldehyde – washable, turns to white leather = easily dyed Finishing - Finishing process gives leather the thickness, moisture, colour and aesthetic - Can be dyed 500 colours; dye finished with softness, strength, waterproof - Finishes: matte, luster, suede, patent Merchandising and Marketing - Leather industry’s forecasters are considered the best and most experienced in the fashion industry because of its need for lead time Fashion Information Service - Has expert information about trends and new products; sometimes produce booklets that forecast trends, new colours and textures - Fashion experts work with retailers, manufacturers to help crystallize their thinking about leather - Individual tanners and leather manufacturers are not known by name to the public Trade Association and Trade Shows - Leather Industries of America served its members by providing environmental, technical, educational, statistical and marketing services - Provides;  Government Representation  Environmental Regulation  Leather Research Laboratory - Trade shows are when the leathers are introduced 2 years before retail - Lineappelle most important international exhibition for leather, accessories Research and Development - Adapts its products to fashion changing requirement; before there were a few colours available but now, hundreds Trends in the Leather Industry - Use of leather for apparel was usually for outerwear that were stiff, bulky - Now they offer colourful supple leather vests, jeans, pants, etc - Changing results of 3 trends… Enlarging Markets - Improved methods of tanning are more versatile leathers with fashion characteristics 1. New leathers are softer and pliable 2. Dyed more successfully in more colours 3. Washable leather finishes is easier to care for Increased Competition from Synthetics - Leather market has been eroded by synthetics; they are less susceptible to scratches and easier to maintain - They were not as attractive before but started imitation leathers and suede - Ultrasuede does not look fake/cheap and used by high-fashion designers - Facile (artificial suede) Industrial Growth Factors - Trend toward a classic and elegant fashion look with emphasis on quality  consumers want real leather - Supply of raw hides is large enough to allow for growth in production - Industry’s aggressive efforts to develop foreign markets ensures future growth for industry The Fur Industry - Prehistoric people used fur on the floor as rugs/create walls; brings warmth - Middle Ages; wearing fur announced one’s wealth and status; sign of power, symbol of purity - Valued commodity for trading and was valued more than silver/gold History and Development - Search for passage that would shorten route between Europe and Orient = establishment of fur trade in North America; fur trade posts established cities - Fur helped colonists export and use money for luxuries to the New World; currency of NA - Beaver fur led to fur rush that rivaled the Gold Rush and everyone desired it, leaving behind communities - Fashion in fur changes a lot slower because of its cost - Mink is favourite, Sable, fox a
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