Wrap yourself in the original safety material
Leather is the oldest material known to man and still one of the most popular. It's the original safety material - think back to the medieval days of shields and suits of hardened skins. Today, leather is used in the manufacture of welding jackets, gloves, hats, footwear and belts.
Synthetics are sneaking into the manufacture of safety materials, but people still love the warmth and comfort of the world's oldest material.
Welders are by far the biggest users of leather in the industrial world. Welding gloves are usually made of leather, and most welders wear leather jackets on the job. A welder's footwear is also often leather.
The wide variety of leather welding gloves available on the market shows how popular leather is for its protective quality and comfortable fit. High-quality deer or goatskin leather is a good choice because they are durable, yet pliable.
However, welding gloves made out of cowhide are not as fire retardant and will quickly break down. In general, all-leather gloves, no matter which the animal source of the leather, will crack and break down under extreme heat - unless the leather is combined with some supplementary protective material such as Kevlar or Nomex.
Leather protects against heat, cold and cuts
When it comes to work gloves, leather gloves - along with canvas and metal mesh gloves - are the most suitable gloves for heat, cold, impact and penetration hazards that result in cuts, abrasions, burns and frostbite.
Leather protects against sustained heat as well as against cuts and burns resulting from sparks, moderate heat, blows, chips and rough objects. Guaranteed that every mechanic on your staff will have a tool holder or tool belt made out of leather!
Leather does not only imply skins from cows; any animal with thick skin can produce leather, such as stingrays, sharks, snakes, eels and alligators.
The four main grades of leather are split grain (suede), full grain, top grain, and bonded.
- Bonded refers to pieces being bonded together, suitable just for decorative purposes.
- Split grade is just that - split from the inner layers. Not very strong (but looks good).
- Top grain is made from the outer layer of skin and heavily doctored to hide imperfections.
- Full grain is top-of-the-line skins. Beauty, strength and durability are features that make this the best product of its type on the market today.