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Kangaroo Leather also known as K-Leather is a high performance leather - high performance leather and performance leathers

Kangaroo Leather (K-Leather)

The kangaroo leather range, known internationally as K-Leather, is by far the most popular choice of manufacturers looking for high performance technical leather with superior qualities.

Kangaroo leather boasts the following performance properties:

  • High strength
  • Light weight
  • Durability

What is so special about kangaroo leather?

K-Leather is the strongest leather fibre structure readily available. Period. Recent studies have suggested links between the kangaroo fibre matrix and that of mions (birds) and reptiles. This ultimately has been further linked to a prehistoric fibre structure – one that evolved from animals needing to survive in the harshest environments against many predators – almost a fibre structure that time forgot!

Kangaroo Leather SEM Pictures

You will note from the SEM pictures, above, the highly organized main fibre bundle structure, which has a secondary fibre mesh in support of the bundles. It is this, combined with the low angle of weave, low fat content and a grain:corium ratio, that provides the superior strength against leathers from such raw materials as cabretta (otherwise known as hairsheep), goat and bovine at similar thickness levels. These particular attributes are explained further below, and are the prime reasons for why K-Leather is the preferred choice for leather products that require lightweight, yet strong, designs.

Angle of Weave
This section refers to the fibre orientation in the corium. The kangaroo fibre structure is aligned almost in parallel to the surface of the leather, and is formed from very long threadlike molecules of proteinous collagen twisted together. This is termed as having a low angle of weave (<30), and differs significantly to bovine (cow) products, which typically have weave angles in excess of 60, or goat and cabretta leathers, which range between 45 and 60. The flat fibre structure can be analogous with a rope that has a network of fibres all running in the same direction, and results in exceptional strength.

Low Fat Content
The fat content of the skin structure is often determined by the environment in which the animal lives. The diet of the kangaroo is generally quite poor and this, combined with the extreme heat in which they live, results in virtually no fat within the fibre structure. In comparison a cabretta or goat leather has anywhere between 5% and 8%, while bovine leather is much more variable. Ultimately, fat takes up space in the cross-section of the skin and when it is removed during tanning, “voids” are left, which can cause a reduction in strength per unit thickness.

Grain - Corium Ratio
Most animals have two distinct layers in the cross-section of the skin – the grain and the corium. The majority of the strength comes from the corium, where the fibre bundles are much more dense. However, on certain animals, and in particular bovine substrates, a large amount of the corium is shaved off to gain a lightweight thickness, resulting in dramatically reduced strength characteristics. However, kangaroo skin has a very thin grain layer and it’s thickness can easily be reduced without detriment to the strength of the final leather, owing to the fact that the natural thickness of a kangaroo skin is mainly found to be in the range of 1.0 to 1.2 mm.

Kangaroo Leather Diagram

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  Related Kangaroo Leather Information  
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Kangaroo Leather
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Full Grain Leather
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Lightweight Leather
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Technical Department
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