What is sole leather?
Leather for soles is the thickest and most resistant material existing in the tanning industry and is used to make the soles of boots and shoes and even for floors. Sole leather is made from vegetable tanned leathers, usually bovine butts, processed in a special way to make them the hardest type of leather in existence.
Advantages of a sole made with leather
Sole leather is thick, strong and it's used for making the soles of boots and shoes, and for other purposes. Italian vegetable tanned leather is intended for high-quality shoes as well as for shoe repairing. Leather is the material obtained from animal skin which, as a result of a process called "tanning" is made rot-proof. In most cases the leather is obtained from the skin of animals raised and slaughtered for food, and therefore hides by far the most used are leather cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, fish and more rarely kangaroo, deer, ostrich.
Leather has characteristics of strength and especially high hygiene which make it particularly suitable for the production of many manufactured articles of common use. It is known, for example, that the leather shoes helps transpiration and thus prevent the development of mold and other pathologies of the skin and of the foot coming from the stagnation of humidity inside the shoe. It is said, in fact, that the leather "breathes" as it leaves the water vapor to cross. The particular molecular structure of the leather, consisting of a three-dimensional weave of fibers of collagen, a protein, causes the leather to have also heat insulating properties, particularly useful in the winter season. Conversely, it has a good electrical conductivity, and therefore, for example, the use of leather footwear prevents the discomfort "electric shock" because it is guaranteed the electrical balance of the organism.
For these reasons, as well as for the aesthetic aspects and the pleasant tactile sensation that leather products give, there are numerous attempts to produce alternative materials that imitate leather, but without success. The materials produced, while sometimes appearing very similar to leather from a visual point of view, on the other hand do not possess the other functional and behavioral characteristics which are due to the particular and inimitable structure of real leather.
Historical Background of Sole Leather
The production of leather and skins goes back to prehistoric times. Primitive man soon realized that, to protect themselves from the cold by the weather, could use the skin of the animals hunted for food. The skin is an organic material such as protein and in a short time will degrade due to the putrefaction. Probably by accident, however, the man realized that the skin exposed to the smoke of fires, especially those fed with leaves or fresh wood, lasted much longer in time: he had discovered in practice the "tanning aldehydes", a class of chemical compounds of which the smoke is rich and some of which still are used. Similarly, he discovered, perhaps, the "vegetable tanning" tannins when he realized that if a skin had been in contact with water and with branches or leaves, the skin was tinged with brown and lasted much longer. The leaves and wood, in fact, contain vegetable tannins that were extracted from the plant and absorbed by the skin producing tanning. Even today, the vegetable tannins, in the form of extracts, are normally used to produce certain types of leather, in particular the sole leather. Until the second half of the nineteenth century, the vegetable tanning was the main tanning used. Only a small amount of skins intended for uses luxury was tanned with alum (aluminum compounds): a tanning method that is still used today. As we see some aspects of tanning technology date back to prehistoric times and have remained largely unchanged for centuries. Even the use of lime to obtain the hair removal of the skins derives from the observation that the hair is peeling off easily from the hides come into contact with water and the stones used to build the hearth.
The ancient Roman and Greek warriors used a vegetable tanned leather very hard to build shields and armor. But in more recent times the art of tanning and decorate in various ways leather with chisels, impression of relief images, gold foils, pigments, etc.. It was well developed by the Arabs and then transmitted to the Europeans. Today the leather and skins are used for a large number of items, while remaining the shoe industry the main destination. However, it remains the material of choice for designers and creatives to produce fashion items, also very expensive but the market demands.
Where to buy vegetable tanned sole leather?
The leather for sole and insole can be purchased on Buyleatheronline.com directly online in the section dedicated to sole leather.