Split leather is a type of leather made from the lower layers of cowhide, as mentioned earlier. It is created by splitting the thick top-grain leather into two sections: the top-grain layer and the split layer. The top-grain layer, being the outer and smoother part of the hide, is used for premium leather products like furniture, handbags, and belts. On the other hand, the split layer, which is the inner and fibrous part, is used to make various split leather products. Here are some common split leather products:
- Footwear: Split leather is commonly used to manufacture shoes, especially in the form of suede. Suede is created by buffing the split leather to give it a soft, napped finish. It is often used in casual shoes, boots, and certain types of athletic footwear.
- Work Gloves: Split leather is a popular material for work gloves due to its durability, abrasion resistance, and flexibility. These gloves are commonly used in construction, industrial work, gardening, and other manual labor tasks.
- Apparel: Split leather is sometimes used in the production of clothing items, such as jackets, vests, and skirts, to add texture and style to the garments.
- Accessories: Various accessories like wallets, watch bands, and keychains may also be made from split leather. These items benefit from the strength and cost-effectiveness of split leather.
- Safety Gear: Apart from the leg guards mentioned earlier, split leather is used in the manufacturing of other safety gear such as aprons and chaps for welders and blacksmiths.
- Furniture: Though not as common as top-grain leather, split leather can be used in some furniture applications, especially for the back and sides of sofas and chairs.
It’s important to note that split leather is not as durable or luxurious as top-grain leather, but it offers a more affordable alternative for products where a smooth surface and premium appearance are not critical factors. When purchasing products made from split leather, it’s essential to consider the intended use and understand the specific qualities and limitations of this type of leather. Additionally, proper care and maintenance are crucial to ensure the longevity of split leather products.