Sorry everyone, I was planning to write about some parts that were sent to Cesar while this whole leather fiasco was happening, but I stumbled upon some more photos that Cesar had send to me when he first received the leather hides and unwrapped them in his workshop - I think they show just how bad the leather from Hydes really was!
Cesar also wrote a comparison between this leather and the "Cardinal" automotive grade leather he had obtained from Wildman & Bugby.
He first concluded that both appear to be chrome tanned "full grain automotive leather" - he noted that:
"1. Both have a natural surface... it means, the bovine hair was removed and the tanners left the 'natural imperfections' on top... more on (the one from Hyde's).
2. Both are 'aniline through dyed'... it means, while tumbling procedure the 'aniline tint' penetrated through into the crust.
3. Both are pigmented on top, probably two or three coats of pigment... (the W&B one) shows a uniform coat while (the Hydes one) shows different shades.
4. Both were slightly embossed with a very thin grain pattern on top... (W&B)'s leather has a uniform embossing all over and (the Hydes) looks similar, but it seems to have another slight embossing pattern over it.
5. Both have the 'automotive finish'...it means both have a special sealer on top...(W&B)'s looks a little more flexible and (Hydes)' looks brittle. This 'sealer' is a coat of lacquer (probably three coats for automotive daily traffic purpose) to add firmness and protect the material from water, UV rays from the sun, and other agents that could cause damage to the surface. (Hydes)'s leather looks more plasticized than (W&B)'s...my teacher Paul Ford, a leather restorer from New Zealand, taught me that a good lacquer should have also pores to let the material breath, otherwise, imagine, the leather sealed as a plastic...leather is an organic material and needs to be feeded, moisturized once in a while as if it were a human skin.
Now, I am going to describe the smaller leather material between...it is a 'top finished leather' or 'corrected leather'...it means before full grain embossing, it was ironed with a big roll or press to erase all of the natural imperfections, scars, mosquito bites, etc. in order to get an almost uniform surface, so the embossing pattern would look uniform as the sample I show in the video...this 'corrected leather' is less valuable than a 'full grain leather'.
So, an 'automotive full grain leather' which was ligthly embossed with a smooth pattern is always going to show the imperfections a natural leather has. I wanted to comment you this, because you have to be conscious that some very minute imperfections would appear on top...it means, it is natural leather and not a full embossed leather as a vinyl...but of course!, not too much imperfections, as the supposed bentley's...that is why, good leathers are sorted out in a tannery."
I'll let you readers draw your own conclusions...
Infuriating, isn't it? I guess if Hydes had apologized and refunded even part of what I had paid, I wouldn't be so upset...in any case, I'll post about the parts as I originally planned, tomorrow!