Leather is not made, Leather is BORN

The History and Present day of Leather

Leather tanning is without a doubt one of the oldest human activities.  In the beginning, skins obtained from hunting and livestock breeding could be used for clothing or tents. The leathers became stiff at low temperatures, while they rotted with heat.  It was probably then that attempts were made to render them more flexible and stronger by rubbing in animal fats. Significantly, Assyrian text mentions the first rudimental tanning process. 

Furthermore, in the fourteenth century, leather was being used in combination with wood in chairs, arm-chairs, and settles with craftsmanship that reached the levels of an art-form.  This was also the case later on with tapestries especially in Venice in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. With chests and cases, and of course, with book bindings, perhaps the most lasting and refined use of the material.  With regard to tanning techniques, it is more or less in the Middle Ages that the depilating action of quicklime was discovered. Hence, today this technique is still valid and normally used. A considerable improvement in processing techniques occurred in the 12th century, with no substantial changes to tanning systems. 

This brings us to the present day where luxury and comfort is the norm and it is something that we create the need for. It is our reward for our very busy and productive lifestyles. Notably, leather has sure come along way. Creating the best possible space in our homes are imperative and with each purchase, quality must be inseparable from the actual handcrafted masterpiece. In this day and age, we need to ensure that the quality resonates the price. We ensure and guarantee the quality of our furniture. Born manufactures the largest range of 100% genuine leather Chesterfield Sofas in South Africa, each piece handcrafted in our factory.

The Born Leather Collection

We are proud to announce our very own signature range of leathers. Still 100% genuine leather skins, just tanned in a different way. The BORN leathers, is a special collection that we have designed with our trusted tannery Hannitan. We took inspiration from the England Chesterfield makers to design the leather to our liking and tailoring. The leather comes in red, blue, green, tan, brown, grey and black.

There are a variety of different leather types. To ensure quality it will be best to request either of the following leathers;

Full-grain leather refers to hides that hasn’t been sanded, buffed, or snuffed to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide. The grain remains allowing the fiber strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a patina over time. High quality leather furniture and footwear is often made of full-grain leather. Full-grain leathers are typically available in two finish types: aniline and semi-aniline.

Top-grain leather or semi corrected leather (the most common type used in high-end leather products) is the second-highest quality. It has had the “split” layer separated away, making it thinner and more pliable than full-grain. Its surface has been sanded and a finish coat added to the surface which results in a colder, plastic feel with less breathability, and it will not develop a natural patina. Typically less expensive with greater resistance to stains than full-grain leather, as long as the finish remains unbroken.

Corrected-grain leather is any leather that has had an artificial grain applied to its surface. The hides used to create corrected leather do not meet the standards for use in creating vegetable-tanned or aniline leather. The imperfections are corrected or sanded off, and an artificial grain impressed into the surface and dressed with stain or dyes. Most corrected-grain leather is used to make pigmented leather as the solid pigment helps hide the corrections or imperfections. Corrected grain leathers can mainly be bought as two finish types: semi-aniline and pigmented.

Our high quality leather stems from the family owned tannery Hannitan since 1724. The Hanni family have dedicated themselves to an unbroken lineage in the leather trade of superior quality and craftsmanship. One of the cleanest and efficient tanneries in the world, Hannitan has expanded into the largest supplier of furniture leather in South Africa. The tannery produces a wide variety of upholstery leathers. These leathers include, aniline, semi-aniline, full grain, corrected grain, wax leathers, buffed leathers and oil pull-ups in a discoverable selection of colours.

If you would like to learn more about our signature leather range, we would be happy to talk you over a cup of coffee on one of our 100% genuine leather sofa’s.

View our Born Leather Collection in our Showroom

Discover our collection of leather Chesterfields, the largest range of Chesterfield sofa's in Africa

My heart is still a leatherjaket I am
waiting to give to someone sweet

Andrea Gibson