WHAT IS CALFSKIN?
by ABARA SG on Jul 01, 2023
Calfskin is a highly sought-after material that has been used for centuries to create luxurious, high-quality products. Its unique properties, such as beauty, softness, durability, and flexibility, make it an ideal choice for a wide range of uses.
Although calfskin is commonly used in fashion and luxury products, we hardly ever hear about the history of calfskin, the different types of calfskin, and its tanning process. Another point to note when buying any calf leather item is to ensure that the material is of high quality and has been produced responsibly. At ABARA, because we only use high quality eco calfskin, our handbags have all the benefits of calf leather, while supporting sustainable practices in the leather industry.
What then is calfskin leather?
Calfskin leather is a type of leather that is made from the skins of young cows, usually under the age of three, which are tanned to obtain a fine leather material with unique characteristics that is widely used in the fashion industry. Calfskin is known for its grain quality, softness, strength and flexibility; it's also lightweight, making it the perfect material for making accessories like bags, wallets, and shoes.
Calfskin has been used since ancient times to make clothing, footwear, and accessories. In the 16th century, calfskin leather was used to make gloves for royalty, and from the 18th century, it was used to make fashionable shoes and boots.
Types of calfskin leather
Full-grain calfskin: The highest quality type of calfskin leather; the surface is left in its natural state and refined without altering its natural texture. Only the best raw hides are suitable for this kind of finish.
Corrected-grain calfskin: This is characterized by a finish on the surface that changes the original aspect of the grain: this includes printed calfskin leather, embossed, and pigmented leathers.
Suede calfskin: This is produced using the hide from the back part of the animal, and is obtained by sanding the flesh side of the skin in order to obtain a soft and velvety finish.
How is calfskin made?
Calf leather is made through a process called tanning, which transforms raw hides into a durable, versatile, non-rotting material called leather. The tanning process can involve treating the hides with chemicals substances in order to create a material that is resistant to water, heat, and other environmental factors.
Vegetable tanning: Uses only natural substances in the tanning process such as bark, flowers, and leaves.
Chrome tanning: Uses chromium salts to create a softer and more flexible leather, ideal for products such as shoes and bags.
ABARA is mindful of the environmental impact of calfskin tanning. For this reason, ABARA only uses sustainable practices in its calfskin leather production, such as responsible sourcing of raw hides, the use of eco-friendly chemicals in the tanning process, and minimising waste.