1. FINE GOAT LEATHERS - Goat leather is often the leather of choice for high quality bookbinding because it is relative lightweight and offers great durability. This is due to the fact it is a vegetable tanned leather, which slightly hardens the composition. Vegetable tanned leathers are also more receptive to blind and gold tooling than other tanning processes.
The goat leathers we carry are Harmatan Leathers, named after the tannery in Scotland where they are produced. They are among the highest quality bookbinding leathers in the world. The Harmatan leathers are specifically produced as a premier leather with the fine binder in mind. The tanning process also includes chemicals that makes them less susceptible to such things as temperature, humidity (red rot), dirt, and insect infestation.
We carry both full thickness and split goat leathers, with the split being more popular because very little, if any, paring is necessary.
2. FINE COW LEATHERS - Cow leather is also a popular leather for bookbinding, although it is generally considered less populatr than goat. Cow leather is generally softer and slightly less durable, due to the fact that it is chrome tanned. Cow leather is also a heavier weight than goat leather. In addition, chrome tanned leathers do not accept blind or gold tooling. For these reasons, design and other fine bookbinders often will not use cow leather for their books. It is however, a popular choice for general book binding and make great photo albums and journals.
Our Fine Cow Leathers are from Italy, which is renowned for their high quality leathers. They are produced using only highly regulated and environmentally friendly tanning chemicals.
3. RUSTIC LEATHERS - Our rustic leathers are a mix of goat, cow, calf, suede, and parchment. They are less in quality than the fine goat and cow leathers we carry and may exhibit some discoloration, scars, brand marks, or defect that some customers might say adds character of the leather. They are popular for beginners, book artists, and those looking for unusual textures in their leather.