How Leather Jackets Are Made

Leather has been used as fabric in clothing and fashion industry since the earliest days of human existence. People used to wrap animal skins around their bodies during the prehistoric period not only for warmth, but also to absorb the magical powers that they believed the skins imparted to them. Some leather garments were found even in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

Although leather used to be valuable trade commodity in the past, the tanning work itself was dirty and odorous, which lead to invention of a tanning process using different plants for tanning by American colonist. American Indians used fish oil for the same purpose and ancient Hebrews used oak bark instead.

First thing first, sourcing the material! Today the most commonly used types of fabrics to make leather jackets from are antelope, lambskin, sheepskin, buckskin and cowhide. As soon as the skin is removed from the animal, it is refrigerated, and packed in barrels of brine.

After that, it is sent to the tanneries, where the skins undergo a series of different processes to preserve and soften the hides. It is of utmost importance to select the very best raw materials of the highest quality. The leather can undergo one of these types of tanning: vegetable (it requires the most time with the skins soaked in progressively stronger tannic acids for several weeks), mineral (this method is significantly faster than the vegetable one, but the color of the leather might be changed), and the third method is fish oil sprayed onto the skins. The decision on the type of tanning is made based on the hand feel, and there is an option to add oils or waxes.

After working with color shadings is confirmed, the leather is brought to the factories, together with sewing materials such as lining, thread, buttons, zippers and snaps. The next destination the leather goes before being turned into a beautiful leather jacket is the cutting department. step is cutting and the stitching process. From the cutting stage, it will move onto the sewing department, and after it is finally completed it is usually one size larger than required. Then it is brought to tumbling, where it is washed and lightly tumbled giving the jacket a matte finish.