Animal hides have been used for clothing and other necessities for millennia. Fur began offering warmth and protection from the elements shortly after the dawn of humanity. Based on historical accounts, some cultures believed it gave its wearers a special connection to the animal from which it came. Leather has an equally extensive and diverse background with early examples of its use dating back as far as 1300 B.C. Like so many of mankind’s greatest early discoveries, these materials have withstood the test of time and remain in use even today.
Advancing through the Ages
Though fur and leather came into play before recorded history, their industries have undergone a number of changes over the centuries. Research indicates animal skin trading gained a great deal of steam during the 1500s and continued in full swing for some 300 years. During the 1800s, though, some of the animals that were most in demand for their pelts experienced a severe population shortage.
In the early days, luxury leather goods were made by hand. A handful of companies still hold fast to the old ways, and you can get more info here on the time-tested techniques. Mass production eventually came into play, though, making fur and leather products more readily available and somewhat less expensive. Even more recently, faux furs and imitation leathers entered the mix.
Cheap knock-offs became highly desirable for a time due to their lower price, but quality soon became an issue. This led to further advancements in processing and developing synthetic imitations. According to RealtimeCampaign.com, further evolution could be in store for the future.
Aside from industrial developments, certain other events greatly impacted the world of fur and leather. One of the most well-known influencing factors was the rise of the animal rights movement. Though most people believe this is a fairly recent event, research indicates it actually began back in the 1600s. During the early days, it essentially revolved around taking a gentler approach with working animals and using more humane methods for removing wool from sheep. Of course, it progressed to degradation and somewhat violent protests over time.
Although people previously drifted away from the genuine article in favor of cheap imitations, a reversal of events seems to be taking shape at present. Creators of handmade leather products like Parker Clay have seen a significant surge in demand over the last few years. This is believed to be a result of the rise of synthetics and mass production.
People began to realize cheap imitations were no substitute for the real thing. Those synthetic products left a lot to be desired in terms of quality and appearance. They also led to a decline in truly unique gifts and accessories. Genuine, handmade leather goods have made a comeback. That being said, some Brands are phasing out fur. Could leather be next?
All Things Considered
Some are saying genuine leather could very well be on its way out the door. Members of the biker community who rely on this material for protection and fashion-forward individuals who appreciate the value and appearance of the real thing certainly hope not. Considering its current popularity, most analysts are saying it’s likely here to stay.