Leather fibre material, which is also called "Lefa", is produced from leather remains deriving from other industrial processes together with natural latex as a binder as well as natural fats and tanning agents - which means that it is made from 95% natural raw materials.
The production process involved in making Lefa is very similar to that of paper production: a pulp of fibres made from minced leather remains and additives of natural latex, fats and tanning agents is layed out on an endless running water-removing strainer, the water is removed under vacuum, the pulp is then dried in a drying oven and wrapped on rolls or cut into panels.
Lefa is very similar to real leather: it is flexible but still firm and can be processed like leather. It can be sewn, riveted, glued, punched and embossed. It can be cut by hand with a blade.
Most Lefa winds up in the shoe industry where it is made into counters (stiffeners) or heels and soles. The production of Lefa has in recent years been vastly improved. Nowadays its producers refine the surface of this recycled leather product into a variety of forms which then gives it many more uses.
So it is that in the meantime very thin versions are available whose surfaces are coloured or given a granular texture and these are then utilized by bookbinders in the production of exclusive book covers. In addition, leather fibre material is also used in the furniture industry as upholstery covering because, in contrast to real leather, it is available in consistent thicknesses, colours, sizes and surfaces. People who are not experts find it particularly difficult to distinguish at first glance the refined versions of Lefa from the real thing and the fact that Lefa also smells like real leather does not make it any easier.
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