Leather is a material that has been useful and valued by man throughout history. Before leather was a sign of affluence and style, it was valued because it was one of the earliest and most useful products that we discovered.
As far back as leather was used, people have used it as a source of protection against the elements. Making clothing and shelter out of leather was the original use, which went on to forming even shoes and military equipment with leather as far back as 5000 B.C. There is evidence of this in ancient Egyptian tombs and Roman history.
The invention of tanning leather and preserving it is attributed to the Greeks using certain teas. Up to this day, vegetable tanning is still in practice and works extremely well. As soon as transportation was common practice, leather was the preferred material for both vehicles of transport and footwear due to its comfort and durability.
The Middle Ages was the time where using leather for furniture became popular because it was easy to clean and the leather did not absorb the smell of foods. This was extremely important in a time where Handy Andy and fresh, clean water were not around!
The Industrial Revolution gave rise to living standards of the entire population which in turn gave rise to a demand for softer and more comfortable leather. This was due to both footwear and furniture, as well as the invention of the automobile.
Today, the leather industry makes up a large part of business in clothing, marine, furniture and more. There are far more things that can be done with leather now, offering more variety in the type of leather as well as the type of products made and received.