August 24, 2005
Leather International Profile
Spanning Three Centuries
From being a family run company, Packer Leather have shifted into
a more corporate structure, with the family still at the helm but
passing some of their responsibilities down the line to the younger
generation. Lindsay Packer, formerly managing director and raw materials
procurement, has assumed the role of chairman.
Furthermore, the senior management team has been reshuffled to
increase the overall effectiveness in the key areas of the business:
David Packer (son of Lindsay) has been appointed raw material procurement
On the consumer side, Paul Evans (formerly of E Astley & Sons
Ltd, NZ) has been appointed marketing and sales manager, with Darryl
Cassingham (also a former Pittards innovations manager) now heading
the technical and innovations team.
Packer Leather continue to concentrate their efforts in the high
performance market, a top end niche that requires specialist leathers
for certain sports or other activities needing non-slip and other
characteristics. Examples are Kool thermal camouflaging, Duratek
abrasion resistance, K100 glove leather and Microblok leather with
Packer have a contract with the Australian army for combat boots
and their Defender & Kombat leather is just one in the stable
of performance leathers, designed specifically for military footwear,
clothing and accessories.
Built into this natural product are advanced features creating
hyper strength attributes, high dynamic and static water repellency,
increased perspiration resistance and high colourfastness properties.
According to Packer, the leather possesses extreme levels of breathability
and enhanced moisture management properties. The leather has also
been developed to allow rapid drying whatever the weather conditions,
including high humidity. It is the toughest leather in its category.
The leather has been approved for use by major NATO forces and,
in recent times, Special Forces have chosen this leather as the
main component for an ultra-lightweight boot for special missions.
In addition to all the other advantages Defender & Kombat offers,
the leather has a special soft tannage which means that the boots
require little, if any, breaking in, nor will they harden with perspiration.
Their Kool leather was tested by constructing a motorcycle jacket,
half made from traditionally finished leather and half with Kool
technology. This was then subjected to direct midday sunlight (with
an ambient air temperature of 34°C) for a 30-minute period and
then a thermal image was taken.
This revealed a significant temperature difference between each
side of the jacket meaning that Kool leather will greatly add to
the comfort of the wearer. The technology will also prolong the
life of the leather due to the reduced heat build-up, thereby reducing
the effects of photo and thermal degradation over time.
Another such leather is Konstant, a thermo regulating leather,
which incorporates Smart Fabric Technology by Outlast, micro-encapsulated
Phase Change Materials originally developed for NASA. This perpetual
technology is based on mPCMs called Thermocules that have a range
of melting and crystallisation points. By changing the proportion
of Thermocules, different phase change temperatures are possible
since they can store energy when a person becomes warm and give
the energy back as the person cools.
No matter how often the Thermocules undergo a solid to liquid phase
change and reconversion, they never wear out. Konstant can be used
for clothing and footwear, reducing overheating and sweat production
and allowing the wearer to remain comfortable all day long.
EVO-CF was initially developed exclusively with Audi AG for the
TT Roadster and utilises a chrome-free and heavy metal-free tannage
in line with current automotive requirements. The aqueous finish
is based around a hybrid system of high performance polyurethane
and acrylic polymers. However, the finishing still allows the natural
grain to be both seen and felt.
The Packer family has been associated with the Australian leather
industry since 1891 and say their mission is to remain the leading
Australian supplier of high quality leathers. Their strategy is
to build long-term relationships with their customers and their
suppliers and to listen to what their customers are saying so they
can remedy any problems.