Leather is a durable and flexible material created by the tanning of animal rawhide and skin, often cattle hide. It can be produced through manufacturing processes ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry. Natural leather remains better in wearability than bonded leather, as natural has better breathability, and softness, streachability. Leather is used as a cover material for the books that are in heavy use. Leather is the most expensive book cover material. It is sold in different forms, and the price of the leather depends on the type of the leather.
Bonded leather or reconstituted leather is the most economical type of leather. It is made of varying degrees of genuine leather combined with other substances to give the appearance of leather, but at reduced cost compared to natural leather. Bonded leathers are produced from scarp/trimmings, dust particles of natural leather. Because it is produced from the trimmings and dust (shaving dust, ie. leather need to shave to get proper thickness) it needs some cementing substances. These cementing substances are mainly various polymers and resins as well as some other property enhancing chemicals such as silicones, rubbers, softeners, and colorants. These substances do not work and affect as they should after ten years and the result is more fragile material. Different methods have been developed to bring the bonded leather feeling and some properties to match the natural leather.
Advantages of bonded leather:
- Environmentally friendly – made from recycled leather fiber
- Product consistency – no natural defects and minimal batch to batch variation
- High cutting yield – cost efficient and reduces landfill waste
- High durability
- Extensive design options – from leather effects to bold geometric designs
- Easy care – wipe clean