## Tuesday, April 30, 2013

### Determining Square Footage

Designers are typically used to working with bolts of fabric and calculating how many yards are needed for projects. Leather, however, is a natural product that is mostly sold by the square foot. This can sometimes be intimidating for those unfamiliar with purchasing leather. Determining leather needs for a project is a simple process.

There are two important steps that should be taken when determining leather requirements needed for a project. The first step is to calculate how much square footage is required. The second step is to consider the size and shape of the patterns needed before ordering the leather. Let's begin with calculating square footage.

Upholstery leather is sold by the square foot, however, many designers are used to working with fabric yards. The conversion from yardage to square footage is one simple calculation. The magic number is 18. One 54" fabric yard is equal to 18 square feet of leather. Simply multiply the fabric yards by 18 to determine how much square footage is required. This calculation takes into account the irregular shape of the hide, plus an industry standard waste factor. For example, a project requiring 11 yards of fabric would need 198 square feet of leather. (11x18 = 198 square feet).

Once the required square footage is determined, the next step is to consider the size and shape of your patterns before placing your leather order. It is always important to remember that leather hides do not have straight edges like bolts of fabric. Leather hides vary in size and have irregular shapes. The maximum length of a typical cowhide is approximately 90" and the maximum width of a typical cowhide is approximately 72". While hide sizes vary, it is important to use these average dimensions as a guide when determining leather requirements, instead of relying solely on the yard to square footage calculation. Here's why:

If an upholsterer needs to cut one 5' square out of leather, how much leather is required? A five foot square piece is equal to 25 square feet. Since the average half hide is 25 square feet, the upholsterer would only need one half hide, correct? Not so fast. Leather hides are not perfect squares. The length of a hide is greater than the width. So, let's consider that 25 square foot half hide. The hide would be long enough to accommodate a 60” long cut, but the widest part of a half hide averages only 36”. Therefore, the upholsterer would need one whole hide to cut his or her 5' square.

You may request Garrett’s Chair Chart brochure, which is a helpful guide that shows approximate square footage requirements for different styles of chairs.  Feel free to contact your Garrett sales representative or customer service representative who are available to assist you in determining leather requirements for your project. If you have any questions regarding specific cutting requirements, we are here to help!

## Monday, March 25, 2013

### Leave A Lasting Impression

How do the best leather hides turn into beautiful masterpieces of texture and design? One method is embossing. There are many different methods of embossing, including roller, laser, and plate. Roller embossing is typically done at tanneries during the leather production process. With roller embossing, the pattern is on a large cylinder that slowly rolls over the surface of a flat hide, from one end to the other. Roller embossing is usually done on full hide sizes, thus ensuring no plate lines on the final product.
 Laser embossing on hair hide.
Another method used in the industry is laser embossing, also known as laser etching. Heat and computerized lasers are used to burn patterns onto the surface of the hide. The lasers are programmed to create custom patterns, such as logos, monograms, or other unique designs. For custom laser embossing, you need to provide “camera-ready” artwork with exact dimensions of how the design should be positioned on the hide or cut piece. Once you’ve selected the leather product and the quantity needed, we can provide a price quote and lead time. If you are interested in custom laser embossing, simply contact our customer service department and we would be happy to help you through the process.

The most common method of embossing uses plates. The pattern appears on a flat, rectangular plate that is carefully placed on the hide. Using a combination of heat and pressure, the pattern from the plate is pressed into the leather. The plate is then moved to another area of the hide. This process is repeated until the pattern appears over the entire hide. Embossing plates vary in size, depending on the pattern. There may be minor plate marks or small areas on the hide where the pattern overlaps and a slight seam may appear along the length of the hide. Plate embossing is typically done on half hide sizes only, due to the size constraints of the plates. However, some patterns with larger plate sizes are done on full hides as well.

When placing an order for embossed leather, there are a number of items to keep in mind. First, it is important to choose the proper type of leather for your project. Since embossing is done using a combination of heat and pressure, some leather products will respond differently under those conditions. For example, the color of full aniline leather will tend to become darker as it is exposed to heat. There may be drastic color variations when full aniline leather is embossed. Likewise, the right type of leather must be properly matched with the embossing pattern. In some cases, the pattern may pull out if the leather is too soft and the pattern does not have a lot of depth. Your customer service or sales representative will be able to help you select the perfect leather for your project.

 The leather becomes darker after being embossed.

Second, it is always advisable to inquire about the direction of the pattern and the pattern repeat. While not all patterns are directional or have repeats, it is always a good idea to know exactly how the pattern appears on the embossing plate and what direction the plate will be placed on the hide. Typically, the plate is placed horizontally on the hide. However, you may request the plate be rotated and placed vertically instead. Keep in mind that rotating the plate will affect your cutting yields. The diagrams below demonstrate different plate positioning options.

 Three different plate positioning options.

Finally, if you are concerned about the appearance of plate lines, ask about the plate size. Knowing the plate sizes will help you anticipate where seams and overlaps may possibly appear on the hide and how that may affect your cutting yields. Gathering as much information as possible upfront will help make the entire process run smoothly, from start to finish.

Do you have a topic you would like addressed by our leather experts? Email your requests.

## Friday, March 1, 2013

### Celebrating 25 Years of Leather Expertise

Customers worldwide turn to Garrett Leather for leather expertise, superior quality, and exceptional service. As Garrett Leather celebrates 25 years, our commitment to our customers remains unchanged.

It takes extraordinary people to build a successful and thriving business. Congratulations to ALL employees of Garrett Leather, especially to our “senior” team members, who have remained loyal for over a decade.

Jennifer Coleman, Director of Aviation Sales – 22 years

Jeffery Vogel, General Manager – 22 years

Bridget Forth, Vice President of Finance – 18 years

James Carter, Shipping – 18 years

Roberta Sand, Marketing Director – 17 years

Paul Rose, Custom Specialist – 17 years

Bridie Adamiec, Sampling Manager – 15 years

Michelle Nasca, Customer Service Manager – 13 years

Danielle Jones, International Account Manager – 13 years

A special tribute to Cameron Brown, the founder, owner and current Chairman of the Board of Garrett Leather, for his vision, leadership, dedication and generosity over the past quarter century.

## Friday, February 22, 2013

### The “Naked” Truth

It seems counterintuitive that pure aniline leathers are often times higher priced, even though they have less surface protection. Surface finishes on semi-aniline leathers provide added protection, as well as visual barriers. The finish may hide natural markings commonly found on genuine leather. Pure aniline leathers, on the other hand, represent leather in its most pure form. Natural markings are highlighted and displayed proudly. Therefore, the raw materials for pure aniline leathers must be of the highest quality, so that the distinctive markings actually add to the beauty of the product. There are many benefits to purchasing pure aniline leathers, including their natural beauty, soft feel, product variety, and longevity.

Purchasing pure aniline leather is a wise investment for many reasons. First, pure aniline leather has the same natural, intricate fiber structure as semi-aniline leather, providing a highly flexible material that is incredibly strong and durable. Man-made products attempt to mimic this organic structure, but its complexity cannot be duplicated. Fabrics and vinyl are uniform in weave and therefore, will not offer the same strength.

Second, with little to no surface finish applied, pure aniline leather offers a much softer hand and more luxurious feel than its semi-aniline counterparts. For instance, judging by appearance alone, Garrett Sierra® looks a lot like semi-aniline leather. However, once you touch and feel Sierra, there is no mistaking it is pure aniline. Sierra’s incredibly soft hand and natural striations are tell-tale signs that it is pure aniline. Signs of wear are evident on all pure aniline leather, adding to the unique characteristics and individuality of each upholstered piece.

Third, the absence of heavier finishes allows for more freedom to bring out unique characteristics of the product. For example, Garrett Distressed® is lightly tumbled with paraffin waxes to create a well-worn, comfortable look and beautiful variations in color and shading. Distressed is easily recognizable by appearance alone. Likewise, a specially formulated mixture of oils and waxes is used to create Garrett Vintage®. These hides have a high gloss surface with very light, transparent finish. These soft, full bodied hides offer depth of color and a lightly worn appearance.

The well-worn look of leather is reminiscent of the past and conjures up memories of our history and traditions. Leather is a classic material that has been created and used for centuries. It is comforting to embrace the ageless look and feel of leather from yesteryear. Garrett Native is the perfect option for those seeking a more rugged leather with timeless style. Native is hand-buffed to create a mottled appearance and matte surface. Some areas of each hide appear “sueded” as a result of the hand-buffing process. Variations in shading and color give each hide its own unique character. With pure anilines, variety is ubiquitous, for no two hides are exactly alike.

Another type of pure aniline is nubuck. Nubuck has a soft nap and provides an elegant alternative to smaller suede hides. Garrett Kenya® has an accentuated grain and velvety texture. The large hide sizes provide excellent cutting yields. Water and stain repellents are dyed into the leather for added protection. Special nubuck cleaning cloths and care kits are available to maintain and revitalize the feel of the nap. Proper care will keep your nubuck leather looking fresh for years.

Finally, investing in pure aniline leather provides longevity. Pure anilines age beautifully, with a rich patina developing over time. While other materials deteriorate with age, pure aniline leather improves; becoming softer, more pliable, more comfortable and more beautiful as time goes by.

Do you have a topic you would like addressed by our leather experts? Email your requests.

## Monday, January 28, 2013

### Top 25 Reasons to buy from Garrett Leather

1. Superior Italian Quality. Garrett Leather knows you deserve the best. Shop and compare!
2. Variety. Garrett Leather fits your exact needs with over 25 different leather products.
3. Color. Find the perfect hue with more than 500 color options.
4. Simplicity. Make your selection process easier with free samples.
5. Be informed. Garrett's knowledgeable and responsive sales representatives will answer all of your questions.
6. Real people. Receive friendly greetings from a live receptionist, not an automated answering machine.
7. Exceptional service. Garrett’s unparalleled customer service department processes your orders quickly and accurately.
8. No hidden costs. Purchase half hides without incurring additional cutting fees.
9. Convenience. Purchase all materials together including leather, welt, matching thread, leather marking pens, and care products.
10. Customize. Inquire about custom capabilities if you cannot find what you need.
11. Care. Garrett Leather stores hides properly on horses to prevent creases and wrinkles.
12. Within budget. Keep projects within budget with competitive pricing.
14. Get results. Issues are addressed immediately and professionally.
15. Anywhere. Shop anywhere at showrooms worldwide.
16. Anytime. Shop anytime at www.garrettleather.com.
17. Free Boutique Items. Qualify to earn free items from Garrett Boutique.
18. Reduce waste. Garrett's superior quality and large hide sizes maximize cutting yields.
19. Breathe easy. Leather is an ideal option for allergy sufferers who may be allergic to dust in fabric.  Most products are GREENGUARD certified.
20. Comfort. Leather is porous and "breathes" by adjusting to body temperature in different climates.
21. Durability.  Leather's intricate natural fibers provide exceptional flexibility,
strength and durability that cannot be duplicated with any man-made product.
22. Easy maintenance. Keep leather looking beautiful simply with water and mild soap.
23. Reduce costs. Leather is known to last up to five times longer than fabric, reducing replacement costs.
24. Invest in longevity. Leather ages beautifully, becoming softer and even more comfortable over time.
25. Join the family. Garrett Leather remains individually owned and privately operated.
Come see for yourself what Garrett Leather is all about!
Shop By Product | Shop By Color

## Wednesday, August 29, 2012

### NEW Cut-to-Pattern Program

Garrett Leather now has one of the most technologically advanced, computerized cutting systems in the industry. Garrett Leather provides precise cutting services for upholstery patterns of custom shapes and sizes. All hides are diligently inspected during every stage of the cutting process to ensure each pattern is cut to your exact specifications. All cut pieces are clearly labeled, sorted and packaged for your convenience, saving you precious time and valuable resources.

## With Garrett’s new Cut-to-Pattern Program, customers receive:

· Superior quality with expert inspection
· Maximum cutting yields with little waste
· Consistent results with automated procedures
· Increased efficiency with organized packaging and labeling
· Cost savings on labor, inventory management and shipping

## Cut to Pattern Procedures:

Digitizing | Each pattern is carefully outlined with a digitizing tablet cursor and converted into a precise electronic file. Each file is saved to retrieve for future cutting orders.*

Proofing | Three sets of proofs are cut on paperboard with graded areas clearly marked on each pattern. Two sets of proofs are returned to the customer for review and final approval.

Inspection | Upon receipt of approved and signed proofs, leather hides are pulled and closely inspected.

Grading | Each hide is evaluated and grade areas are determined and labeled. Non-cutting areas are clearly marked.

Scanning | The marked hides are placed flat on the scanning bed. A vacuum secures the hide in place while the computerized scanner scans the hide to show the hide size and acceptable cutting areas.

Nesting | The automated nesting feature places patterns within the acceptable cutting areas on the hide to maximize cutting yields and minimize waste. Adjustments are made manually if needed.

Cutting | The edges of the hide are sealed for extra security. Four different tools may be used including a cutting wheel, hole punch, notcher, and drag knife.

Packing | The cut patterns are collected and thoroughly inspected to ensure accuracy. Detailed labels are made to the customer’s specification and adhered to each pattern. The patterns are sorted and carefully boxed in an organized, secure manner to prevent damage during shipping.

* Garrett Leather will only digitize patterns on the agreement that Garrett Leather will also provide cutting services. Patterns digitized by Garrett Leather remain the property of Garrett Leather. Digitized files will not be provided to the customer.

800.342.7738
Email us

## Tuesday, June 12, 2012

### Make Any Seat the Drivers Seat

Nothing beats the feeling of sitting in the driver’s seat of an Italian sports car.  Now you can experience that same feeling anywhere with Garrett Leather’s new Arri and Mazzi products.

Arri and Mazzi are made in Italy and conform to strict automotive specifications. Both leathers provide exceptional durability and resistance to wear, regardless of the application.  Arri and Mazzi are ideal options for residential, corporate, hospitality, or aviation interiors, especially for the highest traffic areas.  All colors are now in stock and available for immediate shipment.

 Arri: click to view larger
From a classic 360 Modena to the new F12 Berlinetta, you feel alive sitting on Arri leather. Update your vintage sports car. Cover all your furniture at home. Bring to life your office, your yacht and your jet. With a sumptuous hand and matte finish, Arri is comfortable wherever you are. The sleek interior of a Ferrari® comes to mind, when feeling soft, tight grained European leather. Arri hides offer the luxury and style of an Italian classic, on large European hides made to match 8 original 2012 Ferrari® interior colors. The durability and UV performance are second to none.

 Mazzi: click to view larger
Picture a 1960s Gran Turismo, well worn from decades of cherished ownership, or a new Quattroporte: crisp, luxurious and well respected. Mazzi from Garrett Leather is a classic leather with a pronounced grain. Protection from the sun is phenomenal, as one expects with a leather of this stature. Mazzi leather should be used for every application including yachts, jets, home, and office interiors. Mazzi is made on large European hides to match 9 original 2012 Maserati® interior colors.

For your samples of Arri and Mazzi call 800.342.7738 or order online at garrettleather.com.