Nappa leather refers to lamb, goat or calf skin. It is a very fine leather, smooth and worked. It is the result of transformations into a tannery. To its classic treatment is added a surface treatment to protect the skin as much as possible. It is distinguished by its flexible, grain-free appearance, and its resistance to sun and weather.
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History and origins of nappa leather
After the technical part, let's talk a little bit about history now. Leather work is an ancestral activity. It has its source in prehistoric times, when man wants to protect himself from the weather and begins to design clothes or huts. The Indians also use it to cover their teepees. However, we do not know the precise date of the beginning of tanning. In the Middle Ages, leather workshops were all located near a river. It is the same for the first artisanal tanneries before the development of the chemical industry in the nineteenth century. This industry then grows more and more and new techniques appear. An activity in perpetual motion, advances go from the direction of protecting the environment and reducing its impact.
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Its maintenance and characteristics
Nappa leather is extremely pure and thin, making it vulnerable to the wear and tear of time. Although it receives a treatment in order to be resistant, it must be maintained 2 times a year if you want to keep it intact. Leather jewelry combines perfectly with gold or silver, and immediately brings a touch of character to the creation.
Regarding leather care, here are our tips:
- Cleaning the leather in order to penetrate the treatment well afterwards. Use a cotton material slightly soaked in water to dust it off.
- The use of a delicate cream to clean and preserve the original finish of your jewel.
- The use of a milk for colorless leather or even a body milk or makeup remover. It cleans the material and provides it with all the nutrients it needs to properly hydrate it.
- Finally, protection with waterproofing.
- For more information, do not hesitate to refer to the following article on leather care.
After dwelling on good practices, here are some mistakes not to make with leather jewelry:
- Never put it in a machine to clean it
- Avoid too long exposure to the sun or near a heat source. The heat dries out the leather and lightens it. Beyond the fact of damaging it, your leather jewel can shrink, hello damage ...
- Take care to store your leather jewelry well to prevent it from coming into contact with other jewelry that could scratch it.
- Never clean your leather jewelry with a sponge, a hard brush... or any other abrasive material.
- In case of rain, absolutely avoid drying your leather near a heat source (fire or radiator), this would dry it out and could also deform it. Simply rub it gently with a cotton cloth.
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For the most curious, here are the steps of transformation of leather skins:
- First of all, salt the skins and keep them at a temperature of about 10 ° C in order to preserve them. During this stage, they can lose up to 10 % of their weight in water.
- 15 days later, the skins are sorted according to their quality (thickness, defects, weight, size ...).
- They are then sent to the tannery. This is where the " river work" begins, which consists of 5 operations : quenching (to get rid of the last impurities), waxing (to remove hair), scarfing (removal of subcutaneous tissue), confitage (softening of leather), picklage (acidification of the skin). The skin is then tanned (transformation of the skin into leather thanks to tannins).
- The leather then undergoes a wrought (chemical and mechanical treatment that gives it its color, its flexibility ...).
- It is then wrung out one last time, and put in the wind to be stretched and dried.
- Finally, the last step is called finishing. This is where leather takes on its visual characteristics (its grain, its appearance, waterproofness...).