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Chapter 6

FSN 132 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Main Source, Fendi, Endangered Species Act Of 1973

Course Code
FSN 132
Luann Lafrenz

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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 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
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- 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
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,
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
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
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