A HISTORY OF LEATHER
What is it that makes leather so important after all these years? Why is leather still the principal material used in footwear? Leather has a very unique structure. It is made up of millions of tiny hairline fibers finer than hair. They are so fine that 2,000 side by side would only span one centimeter. These fine fibers are grouped together into coarser fibers in turn are grouped together into even thicker fibers. These fibers are then woven together in an intricate pattern with special characteristics allowing air channels and passages. This allows air and perspiration to pass through and provides good elasticity. It is especially essential for shoes. In luggage this elasticity helps in comfortable packing.
Leather can take a lot of abuse and scuffing and extreme temperature changes with no problem. Since leather has air between its fibers, it acts as insulation from cold or heat. Leather is simply a very durable material that is why it is still used as packing on moving parts or seals on machinery and even on shafts of battleships! Yes, many leathers will scratch especially if they have a very natural, unprotected finish. Surface scratches will not weaken the leather. A modest amount of scratching and scuffing will give you article the “leather look” and distinguish it from any vinyl look-a-likes.