Different Types of Leather to Consider

Leather has been used for thousands of years, and yet even those who love this fashionable material don’t know much about its origins and why it’s so expensive in the first place. Let’s look at how leather is processed and the different types of leather that are made today.

Sources and Processing of Leather
By now you should be aware that authentic leather comes from tanned animal skin and rawhide. Most of the leather products in the market come from cattle skin, but other animal sources are used; such as deer, lamb, elk, pig, buffalo, alligator, goat, ostrich, snake, ox, kangaroo, fish, stingray, and yak skins.

Leather processing can impact the environment, not just with its use of animals for the raw materials, but also the use of chemicals for tanning and the slow decomposition of leather itself. So, if you’re not amused with the idea of using animals for clothing and accessories, you should consider environment-friendly alternatives to leather.

Leather is used to create shoes, jackets, hats, belts, trousers, skirts, bookbinding, furniture cover, and bags. Although they might all look the same, the different processes in tanning result in various forms of leather, such as vegetable-tanned, chrome-tanned, aldehyde-tanned, brain-tanned, formaldehyde tanning, rose-tanned, alum-tanned, synthetic tanned leather, rawhide, and chamois leather.

The production, however, is divided into three main processes, regardless of the intended result; these are preparation (soaking, fleshing, unhairing, etc.), tanning (stabilization of protein from the skin or hide), and crusting (thinning, tanning or lubricating the leather). Other leathers also receive surface treatment after crusting.

The Different Types of Leather
Leather can be classified in two ways, the type of grain and its appearance and coating (finishing).

Types of Grain:
• Top Grain: It’s the surface layer of the skin and is also the thickest, most durable, and softest part.
• Full Grain: This is a variety of top grain leather which is not altered so that it looks more natural.
• Split Grain: This is the layer found below the top grain and is considered less durable and stiff. One example of split leather is suede.
• Corrected Grain: This is a variety of top grain leather that has been sanded, buffed, and embossed to remove the flaws.
• Bonded Leather: This is a combination of leather pulp and boding materials and used as a layer on fibers. Some people don’t consider this authentic because the pulp is made from hide scraps.

Types of Finishing:
• Aniline: This leather looks natural because it is not coated or pigmented to alter its appearance, but the process is only used for full grain hides that have minimal flaws on the surface. An example of aniline leather is nubuck.
• Semi-Aniline: This finishing goes through the same process as aniline leather, but is treated with pigments to make the surface color more uniform.
• Pigmented: This type of leather uses materials not suitable for aniline and semi-aniline processes. Pigmented leather is sanded, buffed, and embossed so that the grain looks uniform.

3 Salad Ideas to Make Your Meals More Appetizing

For health advocates, salads can stand alone as a complete meal. But for those looking to bulk up, salads are but appetizers to prelude the actual meal.

Here are three salad ideas to appetize any meal:

1. Greens and Barley Salad
To start off our list of salads, let’s start with a healthy one unless you’re looking to up your protein or veggie intake. For this, you’re going to need assorted greens which may include endive, radicchio and butter lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, vinegar, barley, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and walnuts. Place assorted greens, carrots sliced into ribbons, cauliflower and barley in a serving dish. Prepare a screw-top jar and combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, paprika, salt, pepper and walnuts. Replace the top and shake well. Coat over the salad and top with walnuts.

2. Tuscan Bread Salad
For this one you will need fresh green beans, snap pea pods, asparagus, Italian bread, cherry tomatoes, small cucumber, olive oil, red onion, sweet peppers, Kalamata olives, basil leaves and red wine vinaigrette to be prepared separately aside from your salad. First off, prepare the beans by trimming off the ends and cut it into pieces of about 2-inches. In a saucepan, toss in asparagus, beans and pea pods in lightly salted water. After boiling, transfer veggies to a bowl of ice water. Once chilled, drain the water and let it stand. Next up, spread a thin line of oil in the bread. Toast the bread until lightly brown, using a grill or a broiler. Cool for a few seconds and tear bread into pieces sizing about to an inch per piece. Combine beans, bread, mixture, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red sweet peppers, red onion, Kalamata olives and fresh basil. Pour the red wine vinaigrette over the tomato mixture and coat gently. Next up, mix remaining dressing over the tomato mixture. Toss again before serving, and add salt and pepper to your liking. For the red wine vinaigrette, place olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon-style mustard, garlic, salt and black pepper in a screw-top jar and shake well.

3. Tuscan Tuna Salad
For this salad you will need lemon, cannellini beans, albacore tuna packed in oil, red onion, arugula or mixed spring greens, grape or cherry tomatoes, salt and ground black pepper. Juice the lemon and set aside the peeling. Combine cannellini beans, tuna and onion in a bowl. Add the lemon, lemon juice, arugula and tomatoes. Toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.

These salads, along with most, can be adjusted to have more protein or more veggies. Just add more chicken or tofu then you’re good to go. Hope this list helped you plan out you’re lunch for the week. Enjoy those greens!

7 Ways to Keep Clothes in Good Condition

We have to meet our basic necessities if we want to live as humanely as possible. And one basic need is to be clothed decently. As we meet this need, there are times when we do it a little bit over the top, purchasing or needing to purchase clothes more than what we need.

So to stop the cycle, we need to take care of what we do have in our closet, giving both our impulses and our wallets a break. Here are some tips you can consider in keeping your clothes in good condition:

1. Choose and store by color. If you’re out for coffee with a friend, make sure you’re wearing a colored top or dress to ward off any stains you seem to magnet to yourself. Admit it or not, it’s easier to camouflage stains than your clumsiness. Also, store clothes according to color. Keep those blues with the blues to avoid running over the color with your whites and beiges. It should be a reflex for you to coordinate your threads by hue so they can last long.

2. Anticipate your clothing behavior and preferences. If you need dress shirts for work, then don’t binge buy cotton shirts. If you don’t like ironing, stop reaching for those iron-hungry type of clothes that need heat before wearing them. Anticipate the events before purchasing those clothes and you’ll give breathing room for those functional outfits in your closet.

3. Store according to material. For sweaters, you have to keep in mind that they sag if hung for too long. So keep them neatly folded and stacked inside your closet or chest drawer. As for dress shirts, they crease easily so make sure you keep them hung inside your closet.

4. Dress up or down. When you know you’re up for long hours in front of a canvass, give your dress shirt a huge favor and change into grubby paint clothes instead. It’s a surefire way to ruin your clothes if you wear them to just about any activity you engage in. Be reminded that clothes also have purposes too, aside from keeping your back warm. So make sure they serve their purpose as long as they can, without you cutting short their lifespan just because of a stain that just won’t come off.

5. Don’t launder often. Clothes are basically made of thread and sad to say the wear easily if you keep subjecting them to frequent laundry. Keep a generous portion of clothes options so you won’t have to use that same dress over and over again, making it age way before its time.

6. Zip up. Before tossing jeans and hoodies inside the washer, make sure they’re zipped up. Open zips can damage other clothes or even the jeans and hoodies themselves. So keep their teeth well-zipped and tucked safely away.

7. Patch immediately and frequently. If you discover a tear or two in your clothing, patch them immediately. Spare yourself of the heartbreak of finding an even bigger hole just because you procrastinated patching it up before tossing it the washer.

How Biometrics Technology Can Improve Business Security

The most sophisticated door access control system you can install for you office nowadays is the biometric door access, which uses the measurements and statistical analyses of the physical and behavioral characteristics of authorized personnel. Although the card access door and the pin access door system are still considered more secure than traditional locks, this type of track access entry can be integrated with other modern systems for improved security.

Here are some of its advantages.

Not only is a digitized door access system an effective crime deterrent and a secure access solution for glass doors, but it can also be used to monitor office activities in Singapore such as employee attendance, access to restricted areas, collection of evidence in case of incidents, and record-keeping. The beauty of the door access system lies in its accurate collection of information and authentication. First, it uses the preset data which is the information recorded from the authorized personnel, and the data from the visitor/owner which will be compared to the preset data. Authentication is successful is the two sets of data are nearly identical, but it also gives a leeway for small deviations in case the real owner of the thumbprint biometric has sweat on the fingers or if the real owner of the facial biometric has put on makeup or shaved the eyebrows.

What’s great about biometrics is that it can be integrated with your existing CCTV camera systems and intercom system to make verification and security coordination more efficient. If your intercom solution is used only for reception and inter-floor surveillance, you can get more from it through identification using a security camera and an additional software for the biometrics. Even small offices can benefit from this simple setup. An analog camera can also work with a basic intercom system if you just need to monitor who goes in and out of the office. Position the analog camera near the access system to provide more security.

For larger buildings in Singapore, however, advanced hardware and software from a good IP camera company can provide better security. You can upgrade your CCTV or security camera to an IP camera to enjoy the benefits of a digitized surveillance system. In this setup, the IP camera records footage and transmits the information through an IP network, thus the name IP CCTV. Unlike traditional video surveillance, IP CCTV has better quality and improved transmission. These advantages provided by the IP camera system can greatly improve crime and activity monitoring in the vicinity. Additionally, a digitized surveillance can easily be integrated with a digitized version of the intercom, SIP intercom, which also uses the IP network to record, transmit, and store information.

Biometric door access is the best door access control system for large complexes and public buildings in Singapore because it decreases the time needed for verification, minimizes the instances of false negatives when identifying people, and it cannot be faked, bypassed, or copied as easily as number and codes in other security systems. Fingerprints are unique to each person, even among twins, which is what makes the thumbprint biometric more effective than a personal information number; while the structure of the face is also difficult to recreate, which makes facial biometric ideal for surveillance of large crowds in public spaces.

A Guide to Locksmithing Services

Most people will only remember to contact a locksmith services company in Singapore if they have lost or left their keys, but a professional key maker offers various solutions besides key duplication. Here are some that you need to remember.

House Key Replacement
Traditional keys are easy to duplicate, but modern keys can be challenging especially if you only have one master key. If you have lost your house key and you need to unlock the door, the locksmith will unpick your lock if there are no copies of the key and a new lock installation is recommended in case it’s not possible to fix broken locks. A professional locksmith service can work with any type of key, such as paracentric, valet, transponder, tubular, dimple, keycard, and master keys.

Car Key Replacement
Although there are still modern cars that use traditional keys for the locks and engine, some models use the more sophisticated smart keys. However, both traditional and modern keys are very difficult to replace when lost and it also takes a professional to unlock car doors. The transponder key for example is cut and programmed to a specific car and model, while laser keys cannot be duplicated easily without professional equipment. Smart keys are the most difficult to duplicate and only a professional car locksmith will be able to make a new one for you if you have lost it.

Key Duplication
If you have just moved in to a new apartment in Singapore, the landlord might suggest that you copy a master key to your unit. You can also request a replacement for a brand-new set of keys if you are worried about security.

To do that, it’s best to search for local locksmith recommendations. One way is through online search: a single search of cheap lock installer from Singapore may yield hundreds of results. Contact a 24 hour locksmith to install new locks and to duplicate keys for the members of the household.

Car Lockout Emergencies
If you have left an important item in your car but could not find your keys, contact a locksmith for an emergency lock picking. Only a 24 hour locksmith will be able to open any type of lock or produce a brand-new set of keys for an emergency such as this. You are also assured that you are not being scammed by a thief who might have copies of your keys.

Key Installation
Locksmith services can install any type of lock not just for doors but also for file cabinets, desks, vaults, panic bars, keypads, card access, deadbolts and padlocks, and many more. The locksmith can work with both mechanical and electronic lock for residential, commercial, and public buildings. If you need to improve security in your office or home, you can also consult a locksmith about the available options for upgrading your locks and door access systems.

Key Rekeying
Even cheap locksmith services have the codes for unique car keys. This is a measure to protect car owner from thieves who might try to get into the car with other means. A locksmith can also duplicate a key within an hour. The same is true for any house or building key if there is a need to change locks or to repair a lock once security has been compromised.

Card Access and PIN
Some buildings prefer keypads and access cards as locks for their units and offices. Professional locksmith services can help you install security systems to keep your family and property safe.

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