Buying Leather, Hides and Skins
Leather and hides are purchased in their exact form from the tannery. Zelikovitz Leather usually sells such products by the side, hide, skin, split or belly. As the size of each side, hide, skin, split or belly varies, the size of your ordered product will vary. The actual size of these products is determined by measuring devices at the tannery.
How we price leather, hides and skins
Zelikovitz Leather prices leather and other hides and skins using several different methods. Leather can be priced: 1) by the each or 2) by the side, hide, skin, split or belly. Generally, products priced by the each have one price regardless of the size of the product. Products priced by the side, hide, skin, split or belly are generally priced by the yard or square foot and therefore the price varies according to the size of the product.
Price by the each
Generally, products priced by the each are unit-based prices. In other words, you are charged one price regardless of size. For instance, a garment chamois is priced $39.99. The average size of the chamois is six square feet but the size of each chamois may vary slightly. By entering the number "1" into the quantity field for the garment chamois, you will order 1 unit of the garment chamois and you will be charged $39.99, plus shipping and taxes, if any.
Price by the belly, side, skin or split
The sizes of other products are more likely to vary which makes pricing them by the each impractical. Therefore, most Zelikovitz Leather products are sold by the belly, side, skin or split and are generally priced by the square foot. A few products, however, are priced by the yard (see Sheepwool Synthetic #926100) or meter (see Python Skin #931401). When you place an order for products priced by the belly, side, skin or split, you will be given a cost approximation based on the average size of the product times the price per square foot. After our warehouse has picked your product, this cost approximation will be adjusted based on the actual size of the product (as measured by the tannery). Your final charges will be for the actual size of the product (as measured by the tannery), not the average.If you paid for your order via PayPal we will refund you the difference. Alternativly, we will give you the option to pay the balance for larger pieces by PayPal as well.
The Subdivisions of Leather or Parts of the Hide.
Belly F or G
Single Bend D or E
Double Back B+C+D+E+A
Side A+B+D+F or A+C+E+
Back A+B+D or A+C+F
Double Shoulder B+C
Single Shoulder A+B or A+C
Buying leather can be much easier if you understand what the different types of leather are used for, how different leathers are tanned and how skins are sold. If you still have questions, please contact us thru our ebay store zelikovitzleathers.
Back – A side with the belly cut off, usually 15 – 18 sq. ft.
Belly – The lower part of a side, usually 4 – 8 sq. ft.
Kip – The skin of a large calf, usually 9 – 17 sq. ft.
Split – This refers to the undersection of a piece of leather that has been split into two or more thicknesses. Splits are usually embossed with a design and finished or sueded.
Suede Split – Leather that has been sanded to produce a nap.
Grain – The epidermis or outer layer of animal skins.
Full Grain – Leather that is just as it was when taken off the animal. Only the hair has been removed and the grain or epidermis is left on.
Note: Only full grain, vegetable tanned leather will absorb water and tool correctly. All leather carving and tooling must be done on full grain leather.
Top Grain – Top grain leather has often been sanded to remove scars and then sprayed or pasted to "cover up" the work. Top grain is not the same as "Full Grain" leather.
How to measure the thickness of leather
Thickness or Weight – Leather is usually measured in terms of ounces. One ounce equals 1/64th of an inch thickness. Thus, a weight of 7 to 8 oz. means the leather is 7/64th to 8/64th of an inch thickness. In an effort to make leather a uniform thickness, wet hides are run through a splitting machine. However, each animal is different and there is always a slight thickness variation throughout the hide. This is why leathers are usually shown with a range of thickness, such as, 4 to 5 oz., 6 to 7 oz., etc.
Understanding the Tanning Process.
* Receiving and Storing - prepare for tanning
* Soaking - restores lost moisture to hide
* Unhairing - remove hair and other soluble proteins
* Bating - Remove unhairing chemicals and non-leather making substances
* Pickling - Transform hides into an acid environment for tanning
* Tanning - Conversion of the hides into a stable, non-putrscible material
* Wringing and Sorting - Remove excess moisture and sort for thickness before splitting
* Splitting and Shaving - Adjust the thickness for the requirements of the end use
The most economical way to buy leather is to purchase it exactly as it comes from the tannery. In this form, the leather is usually priced by the square foot and sold as a complete hide.
Leather comes from tanneries in various shapes and sizes depending on its intended use and the animal from which it came.
Large animal hides are usually cut into smaller sections (sides, shoulders, bellies, etc) at the tannery. The skins of smaller animals, calves, goats, pigs and reptiles are sold in their original shape.
Check out our ebay store for many types of leathers
Zelikovitz Leathers, established in 1890 has a huge selection of leather and leathercraft items. We are authorized distributors for Tandy/Leather Factory. In addition to the over 3,000 items in the Tandy catalog we stock over 18,000 items. All related to leather and leathercraft. Zelikovitz Leathers ......Jamie Melamed