Leather is a seductive and sustainable natural product that can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Van Oosterum Leder supplies leather in all shapes and sizes for leather goods, shoes, furniture, orthopedics, saddlery, the fashion industry, and several niche segments.
We only supply leather of the highest quality. The leather quality depends on a large number of factors, the most important being:
The animal species and age of the animal
The climate where the animal lived
The way the skin is tanned (vegetable or chrome tanned)
Which part of the skin is used
The way in which the leather is dyed and the possible finishing
Why real leather?
Leather is not made, it has grown like that. A natural product, with all its characteristics and nuances. Just like all other natural products, leather becomes more and more beautiful over the years. There are wrinkles and color differences and it continuously changes appearance. That constant metamorphosis underlines the natural character time and time again.
"Let us advise you on the right type of leather. We love to help you!"
How is leather actually measured?
It seems like an obvious question, but it is still good to reflect on the answer. Today most of the leather is measured in “square meters = m2”. As a surface area, for most people a daily and clear understood concept. Modern measurement is either done by running the skin through a machine that reads the surface and can also write the correct size at the same time. Or, of course nowadays, digital cameras can capture the size of skin lying down on a big table. The dimensions of each skin will obviously vary, and at the end of the day, a price is determined per square meter. So it is important that everyone knows how big the whole skin or half skin is.
In the past, a lot of work was done with the term “square foot”. The size of a square foot is 30.53 cm x 30.53 cm. You can also convert it, we maintain that 1 m2 is equal to 10.7906 square feet. You will hear us using both terms.
You will understand that every skin has a different size and therefore we can not deliver standard products of, for example, 2.0 m2. If we get a question for a “piece” of leather with a size of 2.0 m2, there will always be a slightly different size. (for example 1.95 m2 or 2.07 m2).
How do you measure the thickness of the leather?
In addition to the dimension in m2, another important measurement property is the thickness of the leather. You want to make a product of the leather and work with a certain thickness. A full bovine skin can be 6 to 7 mm. But you can not really start with that. The leather is simply too thick to be able to work. So the skin is split and shaven to the desired thickness. Thanks to modern machines, this can all take place very accurately. For example, we supply smooth white shoulders that are offered in different thicknesses. From 1.0-1.25 mm. to 1.25 -1.50 mm. They are only small jumps, but still important for those who have to work with them.
With the thickness gauge we often check again at the warehouse whether the correct thickness has been achieved. We ourselves can no longer correct the thickness of the leather. For this we go to specialized companies, or tanneries that can do it on assignment.
Which parts does a skin have?
We all know what a whole skin is and what it looks like. But what exactly is a croupon or a dosset, what characterizes the shoulders of a cow? You can see it a little better in the picture. For us it may be quite clear, but we understand that it can be useful to name the most important parts at a glance:
Whole skin, half skin, dosset (side), croupon, double croupon, shoulder, etc.
How does leather get its color?
Leather can be dyed in every possible color. But how does that happen? There are of course different ways to paint the leather. For example, we speak of paint that is dyed through or that is painted when the leather has been in large drums. By adding dyes and continuously rotating the barrels, all skins are dyed very evenly. They all have ample opportunity to absorb the dyes. When they come out of the drum, they have a uniform color. That is not to say that dyeing is finished like that. In a second step, a additional coat of paint can still be applied to the top. Let’s just say, the “finishing touch.” Spray tunnels or cabins are used for this. Even when the leather is completely finished, an artist can still decorate the leather with a personal note.