The temptation of genuine leather
Firstly, the definition of leather: It’s a “original fibrous structure” from skin or hide that “once tanned, will assume a state that won’t decay” which characterises “leather”. So, without the original structure of an animal’s hide we could never call leather to any product and as such the term “synthetic leather” becomes a little absurd. Nonetheless, there have been several attempts to modify the definition of “leather” to include other fibre and synthetic derived products such is the case of pineapple leather fabric that is made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves. The justification in doing so often comes associated with the lower cost of fabrication as well as animal and environmental friendliness even blaming, in some cases, the tanning industry for deliberated slaughter of animals.
We would like to make note that our noble sector makes no such deliberated hunting down of animals or ever intended to. Leather is an animal subproduct that results from the food sector which essentially means that that we are making use of parts that would have been going to waste otherwise. It is the hunter’s responsibility to fully make use of a creature that has been killed at his hands.
The noble, sensual, natural and unique image inherent to leather as a material makes it very tempting for other products to associate with. In short, “Leather” is a very powerful product as well as word and as such it has been the target of many competitors, being even the object of many incomplete news, quite a few incorrect ones and even some completely false and slanderous ones. Our Association of Portuguese Tanning Industrials, APIC, elaborated a well-constructed article where they defended the importance of this material and exposes some ideas on the situation of leather in modern Portugal.
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