How does leather stretch
what's the best part of leather?

How does leather stretch?

When you cut the beef perpendicular against the grain, do you also associate it with the question related to the leather : "does the skin orient in a certain direction too?"

That's right! When the artisans place the leather patterns, they need to make sure the stretch takes places over a shoe, for example, instead of along the shoes. In case there's a cut on the shoe, it wouldn't maximize the damage.

On the image on the right, you can see the skin stretch orientation.


Picture: Amanda Michel - Scribed



Besides the stretch orientation, the leather thickness also varies according to the position: neck & shoulder, butt/bend and belly.

OK, so does the quality of the skin vary from the same animal?

Neck and shoulder are usually pretty thick, animals in the wild are most likely to be attacked by their predators in this body part. However, there are also a lot of wrinkles around this area. Butt and bend are the best parts of the leather. They are not only solid and smooth, but also can be mostly used to make leather goods, such as seat panels, shoes and so on. The smooth touch and endurability appeal us for hundreds of years. Belly skin is flexible and can be easily stretched out because of the lower intensity of fibre. With the help of the microscope, we can see that there are much more space between fibre in the belly area than in the shoulder, neck or butt. Yet its elasticity enables it to be perfect for sides and back of the furniture, collar or pocket flaps of a jacket!


Picture: Leather Dictionary

Can you see the neck wrinkles clearly from the image above?


Picture: Amanda Michel

Can you tell from the image above which part is from the belly and which from the butt? 

That's right! The left side is the belly skin, we can visually see that there are a lot of dark parts, which are the spaces between the fibre.

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