National Leathercraft Day is celebrated annually on August 15. This day was created to honor the art of leathercrafting, as well as the skill it takes. Leather is one of the most versatile materials to ever exist and has been in existence since the stone age. Tandy Leather created this day to acknowledge this fact and appreciate the creative skill of leathercrafting.
History of National Leathercraft Day
We almost cannot go an entire day without leather. It’s in the shoes we wear, the cover of our couches and car seats, and even in the belts holding up our pants. Leather is one of the most versatile materials made by man, and crafting leather is one of the most useful skills in the history of humankind.
Leather is made from the skin and hides of different animals and is used to create a variety of items such as clothing, shoes, furniture, and tools or equipment. It has existed as long as humans needed to hunt for food or kill for protection, but the leather-making techniques themselves — hide working, tanning and crusting — have existed for as long as 400,000 years.
In the Stone Age, humans would use the hides of animals as protection from the elements, with the oldest leather tanning tools and footwear dating back to this time. In the Bronze Age, it became a viable material for crafting tools, weapons, and shields, and by the Iron Age, the leather had achieved an added advantage as a material for jewelry like armbands.
Ancient Grecians and Romans could be considered trendsetters as they found a way to use leather, not just in a protective way, but also in an aesthetic one with the creation of sandals and bags, and by the Middle Ages, it was being used for clothing, saddles, books, boxes, and other arts & craft equipment.
Bringing it back to modern times, Tandy Leather is one of the largest distributors of leather and leatherwork products in America, at wholesale and retail levels, with over 100 stores worldwide. Now owned by The Leather Factory, Tandy Leather is the creator of National Leathercraft Day and established the holiday in 2018 to recognize the art of leathercrafting.
National Leathercraft Day timeline
The oldest leather footwear found by archeologists in Armenia dates back to this time.
The Bronze Age leads to a new use for leather in the creation of weapons and shields.
Patent Leather is developed, adding a glossier, coated appearance to the leather.
Tany Leather is established as a family-owned business.
National Leathercraft Day FAQs
What does it mean to tan leather?
Tanning of leather involves the processes that go into the treating of the skins and hides used to create leather. These processes include altering the protein structure of the skin, preservation and durability techniques, and coloring when applicable. A tannery is where skins and hides are processed, and a tanner is an individual that conducts the tanning.
Is machine-stiched leather the most durable?
There are typically two forms of stitching leather products — machine-stitching or hand-stitching. Hand-stiched leather products are often more durable depending on the kind of stitching technique used. Due to the time and effort that goes into them, hand-stitched products are more expensive than machine-stitched products.
What is the most expensive leather in the world?
Anything rare, and takes more time to produce will usually be set at a high purchasing price. With that being said, studies have shown that Shell Cordovan is the most expensive leather in the world. It is leather made from the hide of horses and manufactured in very few places in the world. The tanning process of this leather can take up to six months, making it very expensive to produce.
National Leathercraft Day Activities
Wear some leather
Today is all about leather! There is no better way to celebrate a day like this than putting it into practice, and the best way to do that is by throwing on some leather. It could be in the clothes you wear, a hat, jewelry, or shoes, whatever the case may be, make sure you’re rocking at least one leather item in your outfit of the day.
Purchase a leather product
Patronize your local leathercrafter by adding a new leather product to your collection. Purchase decor/furniture for your house, clothing items, or anything that catches your eye to celebrate National Leathercraft Day. This not only shows your appreciation for the craft but also helps put a smile on a leathercrafter’s face.
Sign up for leathercrafting classes
Another great way to appreciate the art of leathercrafting is getting hands on some of the action. Just like pottery, or painting, certain arts & crafts establishments offer leathercrafting as an option. Find one closest to you, and sign up to begin learning the skill of leathercrafting.
5 Interesting Facts About Leather
It is eco-friendly
Contrary to popular opinion, leather is a natural, renewable resource, not requiring the use of synthetic materials.
White doesn’t come easy
White dye can only be used with the best quality of hide to avoid cracking and is the most difficult and expensive leather to produce.
You can’t miss it
On average, each person wears at least four items of leather each day.
Its texture changes quite often
The pores in leather make it easy for it to change texture based on the environment.
It might be fishy
Salmon leather is a thing and is very popular in Iceland and Norway.
Why We Love National Leathercraft Day
It’s all about skill
We love any day that highlights the importance of skills or crafts. National Leathercraft Day does this and more by not only educating us on the skill of leathercrafting but also emphasizing its incredible history and importance to mankind.
It’s a creative holiday
Leathercrafting is all about skill and creativity. We particularly love this holiday because it encourages creativity and arts & crafts.
We love leather
Leather is not only incredibly useful, but it is also beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. If you can’t get enough of those leather pants, shoes, or even that gorgeous new couch you just got, then you are a leather lover at heart, and National Leathercraft Day is all about appreciating the beauty that is leather.
National Leathercraft Day dates