"The History of Leather."


Leatherworking is one of the oldest crafts known to humankind. The first leather objects were primarily functional, but people soon learned the decorative potential of the material. Thanks to its supple luxuriousness, products made from leather combine function with remarkable beauty. And because color, grain, and texture are whimsically varied by nature, no two skins are every exactly alike.

The earliest attempts to make dried skins pliable and water-resistant probably involved softening them with animal fat. The curative effect of woodfire smoke was also an early discovery. Vegetable tanning may have resulted from noting the beneficial effects of hides that had lain in pools of rainwater that had absorbed tannin tree bark, or from attempts to dye skins with the juice of bark, berries, or nuts.

To some extent, the progress on the long road to civilization C an be measured by the uses to which skins and hides have been put. There are leather artifacts in museums that are perhaps twelve thousand years old. Over the course of time leather products have always been perceived as having a high value. In ancient Rome leather sandals were worn by the upper classes, the plebians usually going unshod.

In China, in the second century B.C., currency made of leather was in widespread use. Among the Romans, leather was so highly prized Caesar decreed that coins were to be made of the material. In fact, the English word "pecuniary," which refers to monetary rewards, is derived from the Latin word "pecos," meaning "hide." Not only were there numerous instances during medieval times when leather was the basis for currency, even as late as WWI, leather coins were used in Germany and Austria.

The timeless appeal of leather lies in its luxurious texture, warm color, wholesome aroma, and exceptional durability. The world's love affair with fine leather continues to be influenced as much by its appeal as a status symbol as by its utilitarian value.


| Home | Products | History | Area Festivals | Contact Us |

Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM

E-mail us at duke@downhomeleather.com

9 N Main Street, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
(740) 393-1186