Leather is a luxurious material that is used by people across the world. There are many different types of leather and we’ve all established that. What we hardly discuss is the thickness of leather and how it is scaled; the practice and standard measurement. It is also known as the leather thickness chart.
Leather has a distinct appearance and a lavish style and it’s because of all the work that goes behind it. From leather tanning to leather thickness and leather finishing, there’s so much to study and understand before you make your decision to buy a leather product.
What is Leather Thickness?
There’s much debate on leather thickness and leather weight as people tend to use this term synonymously. The thickness of leather is measured in ounces, as per standard. If you’re buying a real or faux leather jacket, the thickness of the leather and similar information would come in handy.
The tool used to measure the thickness of the leather is responsible for indicating the exact ounces it weighs. However, it is not necessary to have a gauge when measuring the thickness of the leather; you can also use a ruler.
How Do You Weigh Leather?
The standard way of measuring leather is in ounces. Every ounce of leather equals 0.4 mm. A leather that weighs 4 ounces measures up to 4/64” i.e. 1/16” thick. Leather weights are usually provided in ranges because variations are found in thickness across every split hide.
Leather thickness is measured using gauges — from millimeters to ounces, inches and irons. Since leather is a natural product, its thickness in general varies from hide to hide and animal to animal. A single piece of leather and its thickness is measured in ranges; for example, 2 — 3 oz.
The changes in thickness also impact the tanning process because they end up determining the types of tannins to be used for drying, tanning and finishing procedures. This may also affect how hides are split or separated into thin layers.
Standard Scale Of Measure Vs Branded Measuring Scale
Leather is considered to be a soft material and it comes as no surprise that there is not one caliper that can be used to measure its thickness. Every leather is pressed and its results are drawn depending on how much pressure is applied.
Hence, the thickness is determined by the area that is predefined along with its contact pressure. Not all leather types are uniform and the same in terms of contents. Due to this reason specifically, you can’t expect the same results. However, the leather thickness is regulated on international standards along with branded ones.
When it comes to measuring the thickness of the leather, faux or real, the tanneries around the world figure out what they’re trading. For this, a standard was set: irons, millimeters, ounces and inches. The Jacket Maker uses ounces as the range for measuring leather thickness.
Thick Leather vs Thin Leather
The pattern that you find on the surface of the leather is known as the grain pattern. Why is it relevant? Well, it is relevant because it is determined by the thickness of animal hide. Now comes the difference between thin and thick leather which is also known as soft leather vs hard leather.
What is soft leather? Or rather, what is thin leather? The more fine the grain pattern is, the thinner the leather is. On the other hand, thicker leather has a much rougher structure. In addition, the center section of hide is usually composed of finer grain pattern compared to the outer boundaries.
There are many layers in an animal hide. When you split them, you will find out that corium is the thickest layer within an animal hide; you may find it in top grain and genuine leather products.
So What Type Of Leather A Thin And Thick?
Cowhide, to no one’s surprise, is considered to be thick compared to calfskin, pig leather or lambskin leather. In fact, cowhide leather is further divided into two parts. Leather that measures 0.9 to 1.2 millimeters in thickness is used scarcely in furniture and cars.
However, it’s actually the leather that is over 1.4 millimeters is known as thick leather. The leather used for jackets and outerwear is somewhere between 0.5 and 0.9 millimeters.
This is the stiff leather type that is the hardest, almost impossible, to stitch. Thus, you may only find it, and that too quite scarcely being used in the furniture or vehicle industry.
More examples are as follows (determined by vegetable tanning):
- 1.0 to 2.5 mm: wallets, leather bags, book covers
- 2.0 – 2.5 mm: robust leather bags, leather straps
- 2.8 – 3.5 mm: belts, soles of shoes, knife sheaths
What is Tempered Leather?
Leather temper is essentially referred to as the stiffness of the leather. Tanning plays a crucial role in the development of leather and how tempered it will be eventually. The process of tanning transforms raw hides into leather form. The different processes that take place during the tanning process include leather finishing, leather dyeing, etc.
Does Leather Thickness Effect Tempered Leather?
Leather thickness is not the same as or has any direct effect on the tempering of leather. There are general assumptions that leather is stiff and hard. Although it’s true it is softer leather is also available. It is true that even the thickest leather can turn into a soft temper.
How To Make Stiff Leather Soft?
This can be explained with the help of an example. Hence, consider that there’s a production going on of hard leather or a stiff leather belt for which vegetable tanning is opted for; mainly because the use of natural ingredients is ensured, and also because it keeps the leather stiffer – retaining its durable properties as well as its ability to resist abrasions overtime. After the tanning process, the leather is dyed to attain the required color.
Types Of Soft Leather
Broadly speaking, sheepskin and calfskin hides are deemed as softer leather. But in this article, we shall cover the most basic information about soft leather and it’s types. Soft leather is essentially utilized in the tanning process as it can easily be infused in oil and waxy materials.
The process of tanning obviously transforms the leather and gives it a soft leather texture. You can find these leathers in handbags, wallets, and upholstery. Here are four types of soft leather:
You can describe soft leather as pliable and flexible. Such leather type of appropriate for clothes – like jackets and leather pants.
Soft leather is pliable, however, semi-soft leather is only used for shoes and bags.
This is another version of soft leather that has the ability to mold itself into any shape. Therefore, you will find these bags being used in boots and travel handbags.
This is a rather rigid form of leather that can be shaped into any form of leather. It doesn’t have the ability to stretch or be flexible. Therefore, you will find this leather being used in saddles and belts.
Top grain leather is extremely strong due to densely packed fibers. Also a layer of leather hide, known as chromium, is the strongest and thickest layer.
Full grain leather is the most durable leather that you can find. However, it also requires high maintenance.
Oz, also known as ounces, is the weight of the leather that determines the thickness of leather.
The best leather thickness for wallets is between 1.0 to 2.5mm.
As per standard and vegetable tanned leather, the best leather belt thickness is between 2.8 and 3.5 mm.
Leather is expensive and the cost is determined by the amount of work that goes into its production. Tanning is an important part of leather production and that is based on the thickness of the leather. There are four main scales or ranges depending on which the thickness of leather is determined. And finally, cowhide is deemed as the thickest leather hide. Hope you enjoyed and learned from this leather thickness guide, a relatively unconventional discussion.