UNDERSTANDING HIDE THICKNESS

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The thickness of a hide can vary quite a bit and determine which use it will be appropriate for. It is not easy to understand in theory and is better followed when one begins to work with hides in person and then can ‘feel’ the difference between them. In numbers, leather and suede is measured in weight, which also translates to a thickness in actual measurement. I will attempt to give the ‘basics’ as I know them;

Most ‘Garment’ weight leather = .7 – .9 millimeters = 1/32 of an inch = 1.75 – 2.25 ounces (some is a little thicker – .8 – 1 MM). Some thin requirements can be down to .4-.5 millimeters.

‘Upholstery’ weight leather and ‘Accessory’ weight leather = .9 – 1.2 millimeters = 1/32 – 3/64 of an inch = 2 – 3 ounces Note; that accessories can be done in a variance of thicknesses, being controlled by ‘backing’ and ‘interfacing’ – fabrics that are preglued or stuck with other adhesive sprays and liquids to the back side of leather, to enhance strength, durability, adding thickness and can change the feel and stiffness of them.

 Other’ leather thicknesses commonly carried by us include ranges = 1.2 MM. = 3 OZ. = 3/64 of an inch through 1.6 MM. = 4 OZ. = 5/64 of an inch, although we carry some basic cow leathers = 2.4 MM. – 3+ MM. = 6+ OZ. (up to 8+ OZ) = 1/8+ of an inch.

 NOTE; A hide can also ‘feel’ thicker by the type of and way it is tanned. The actual chemicals and treatment, whether it is milled and softened, top finishes, among other processes can manipulate the hides and change their ‘hand’ (how they feel in-hand) – thus changing their ‘toughness’ and how they respond to their use, regardless of thickness or weight.

 

 

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