The use of animal skins by man goes back thousands of years. It is undoubtedly true to say that the leather industry is one of - if not the oldest - industries known to man. As man developed his intelligence he made use of skins to protect his body.
No one can be pointed to as a particular genius in the history of the industry and it is not a history of spectacular inventions or of outstanding contributions by great names, but a steady progress stemming from the experience, integrity and skill of innumerable craftsmen tanners over literally thousands of years.
Leather is made from the skins of any animal, reptile, bird or fish, by a process called tanning. This process preserves the skin, which would otherwise quickly decay or putrefy.
From the primitive methods of early man, the industry today is highly scientifically based and constant research is applied towards improving leathers to fit in with modern living.
With a few exceptions, hides or skins are by-products. Animals are reared for meat, milk and wool and not for the value of their skins. As a consequence, the tanner is not able to control the supply of raw hides and skins, which he purchases in open markets all over the world and is in competition with tanners on a global basis. Many attempts have been made to create artificial leather however nothing can compare to the real article for durability, look and feel.
Ettinger commissions and selects the best tanned skins from a number of tanneries, all of whom are based in the E.U. Having developed special relationships with these tanneries over many years ensures we can maintain our leather supply standards and offer an extensive range of leathers, many of which are exclusive to Ettinger.
Discover our full ranges here.