Leatherette’ is a synthetic material, the origins of which can be traced back to the 1920s when commercially viable alternatives to leather were first being actively researched. According to sohoconcept.com “It’s typically made from natural or synthetic cloth fibres coated in PVC or polyurethane and contains no animal by-products, unlike real leather which is made from animal hide treated with chemicals. This stark contrast in materials means there are many differences between leather and leatherette to consider.”Leather has been used by civilisations, all around the world, for millennia. Its properties of durability, strength and flexibility – not to mention its sensual properties of texture and smell – have been valued for all kinds of applications through the ages. Craftspeople have honed their techniques over time to produce finer and finer leather for both practical and decorative purposes. Today, that work continues. Craftsmen like Bill Amberg, founder of the Bill Amberg Studio, are finding entirely new ways to increase the appeal of genuine leather through the use of texture and colour.

In the video on their website, Amberg describes his passion for leather and the pride he takes in continuing the traditions he has inherited. His use of print techniques, in particular, is redefining what people expect leather to look like. His studio is responsible for some quite inspirational work, particularly in the field of interior decoration. As he says in the video, “We can still produce unique things. We can push those ancient techniques further; we can learn from them and build on them… and that’s the future of leatherwork.” He foresees leather being used in entirely new ways as the fresh techniques become more widespread.

While Amberg’s studio is best known for its interior furnishings, they are also collaborating with Helm Artomotiv on an inspirational automotive leather project by refitting classic, reclaimed E-Type Jaguar cars with custom leather interiors. Described by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car ever made,” the Series 1 Jaguar E-type remains an icon of modern design.

“We can still produce unique things. We can push those ancient techniques further; we can learn from them and build on them… and that’s the future of leatherwork.”

According to their website, Amberg’s studio uses “buttery soft suede and plump semi-aniline leather throughout” with “beautifully executed hand-stitched detailing on leather toggle switches, a hand-stitched steering wheel and matching grab handle”. In addition, Amberg created bespoke matching versions of his iconic Rocket bags for the lucky few who will get to experience this new E-Type sensation. But don’t all rush at once: only twenty of these magnificent cars are expected to ever be produced!

With thanks to Leather Naturally for the heads-up about this story…

Watch the video here

Read full article here

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