Why is Italian Leather so Fine?

Sometimes weird thoughts pop into my mind. Well, I get them all the time, but that’s currently under control by my new meds.  I digress. 

There’s an ad on TV these days and one of the models says, “I gotta have that Italian leather purse!” That line has stuck with me for a few days now, so I decided to do some research.Italian leather purse

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve heard that Italian leather is the very best; but why?  Are Italian steers and other animals better than those of any other country in the world?  Do they get a special diet of spaghetti and Chianti instead of hay and water?  Perhaps I should rewrite the old song lyric to “Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, but Italian cows eat pasta.” 

My inquiry turned up information about how Italian leather is treated under proprietary measures. Some sources say it’s treated and tanned in other countries and then sent back to Italy to make shoes, coats and handbags. The quality of the softness of the leather is unmatched. But nobody’s sharing what those “proprietary measures” are.  Do you think it could be coddled cows?

Italian leather_cowI have an idea about how to combat Italy’s stranglehold on fine leather. Our family has a cattle ranch. I’m going to ask my in-laws to let me take a couple of their cows and pamper them. By pampering, I mean custom hay and grass and bottled spring water.  I’ll wash them every day with aloe soap and then rub them twice a week with Oil of Olay.  That should keep them very soft and smooth.  We’ll keep them in a heated barn on cold nights and cover them up when it snows.  The final outcome is after a couple of years, they’ll be killed and skinned, but oh the softness of those Italian Leather Shoesskins thanks to their special treatment.  The meat should be excellent too.  And of course, to paraphrase the epitaph of Malcolm Forbes – a man who wore the finest Italian leather shoes – while those cows were alive, they lived!

The tanning and processing of the leather should rival any Italian method.  And then I can put that stamp on the leather that reads, “MADE IN THE USA”!

Then again, maybe it’s not worth it. The cost of the gallons of Oil of Olay for my cows would bankrupt me in the first month.  I guess Italian leather wins again. 

What do you think?

Gary Ingram

Gary Ingram

I grew up in Golden, CO in the 50’s, the child of a middle class housewife and a lifelong employee of the U.S. Post Office. My professional career spanned 25 years with the U.S. Government and I retired early. Today I am an Aging-in-Place Specialist (which does not mean I just sit in a recliner and watch football), a devoted “Papa” to my grandchildren and partner to my lovely wife. I’m a crusty old fart who appreciates a good cigar, an old car, an occasional game of golf, Blue Collar Radio, NASCAR and my Denver Broncos. At BoomerReviews.com, I hold the title, “Chief of Questions.” Let’s see what you think about my questions and answers. Chime in!

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