Leather characteristically is very tactile - it's great to feel it, touch it, and rub it. Suede, shearling, smooth lambskin, pigskin, and exotics like like lizard, crocodile, and snake are just a few of the many types of leather on the market. Each one of these is naturally textured, whorled, and crinkled to create a totally unique effect that makes each piece one of kind. Leather has been manufactured and processed all over the world for thousands of years and known tanners guilds existed in England as far back as the twelfth century. Tanning is the process of treating the raw leather hide to keep it soft and flexible and to protect it. Technology and methods have changed considerably over the years and now tanneries produce a remarkable variety of colors, textures, thicknesses, and finishes on leather. This gives the modern manufacturer many options to select from when designing new garments and accessories. It also can give you, the end user, something of a challenge when trying to determine how to care for your item since each manufactured piece may have drastically different care instructions.