Desired Living: The History of Leather

Written By: admin Published In: ROOT Date: 2018-11-09

Leather has been used for thousands of years for clothing, armour and even as material for building tents. The techniques for transforming raw animal skin into supple material that was easily dyed, sewn and worn is an ancient art, full of history and traditions. 

Read on to see how leather has changed through the ages.

History of Furniture Leather

Leather has been used for thousands of years for clothing, armour and even as material for building tents. The techniques for transforming raw animal skin into supple material that was easily dyed, sewn and worn is an ancient art, full of history and traditions. 

The leather seat, whether chair or couch, also has a long and fascinating history. Did you know it has been present in homes for thousands of years? In Roman society, you could find in the wealthiest and most powerful patrician homes leather lounge chairs. The men would lie back in them while they ate, drank and conducted business, while the women would sit on regular plain wood chairs. Because of the amount of work involved in making leather, the material was reserved only for the elite. It was very expensive and possessing a piece of leather furniture was considered a status symbol.

Medieval times
The leather-making process remained tedious and expensive, and leather furniture remained a luxury reserved for the rich. You would find leather-covered couches in the households of royal families, kings and noblemen. Ordinary people would still have access to leather in the form of clothing and small accessories, but the furniture was out of their reach.

The Industrial Revolution
New machines increased production, and new techniques made the fabrication of everyday objects easier and cheaper. People started to give up making their own household items, as they used to do before, and started buying them from manufacturers instead.

During the 19th century, the leather sofa began making its appearance in common, middle-class households. The leather seat was no more reserved for the rich and influential. The leather couch became a symbol of comfort and “homey-ness”. A home without at least a small leather chair or sofa was considered old fashioned. The addition of new colours made it easier to use leather furniture in a variety of décors. 

20th Century
As technology advanced and trade increased even more between countries. The leather couch remained an essential manly piece of furniture, usually in the form of the man’s easy chair, where he would sit after a long day of work. Leather couches served as the centre of the living room, where the family would gather to listen to the radio, and later, to watch television. leather couches became a trend. Clothing and furniture designers began to use leather more widely, and leather appeared in colours such as white and bright green and red. A home was not trendy unless it had a leather couch.

 

 

 

Leather Furniture Today
The leather couch has retained its reputation of a premier, luxury piece of furniture. Leather furniture gives an instant boost of luxury and comfort to any living room and is still perceived as a status symbol, despite its cheaper prices. leather couches come in a variety of colours unimaginable before, while also coming in different shapes and sizes such as 1, 2 or 3 seaters which can be customised to suit any living room. Leather continues to be the material of choice, not just for commercial and residential furniture but for automotive, aviation and marine applications as well.

 

 

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