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At J. Hewit & Sons Ltd we take pride in producing a wide variety of speciality leathers for various purposes, but notably for the Bookbinding and Leathergoods trades. The leathers are manufactured using a blend of traditional and modern methods, incorporating the experience we have obtained over the past 135 years. The majority of leathers listed below are vegetable tanned. We utilise extracts of the Sumac, Tara and Myrobalan plants, to impart the properties most commonly associated with quality Bookbinding Leather. The Indian Goat and Calf are supplied to us pre-tanned, but we strip-out the original tannage replacing it with one of the above vegetable tannages.

Selecting the Correct Type of Leather - Are you unsure of the correct type of leather you need for your next bookbinding project? If so, our easy to follow 'Leather Tree' flow diagrams may help you decide.

Grading - The grading of leather is based on holes, grain scratches and other defects such as staining or shape. In principle, we look at the undamaged part of a skin and try to assess how usable it is. A first grade skin should yield a large rectangle, centered on the spine and extending most of the way to the edges. There may be one or more small damages near the edges but these should not detract from the overall efficiency of cutting. A second grade skin should be suitable for smaller full bindings or for large half- and quarter-bindings. Where offered, such as in our calf range of products, lower grades are likely to have more defects spread across the skins and are most suitable for repair and rebacking work where relatively small pieces are required. If you need to order leather for a specific project, the safest option is to let us have details of the number and dimensions of panels you require. We can then choose the most appropriate skin or skins and provide a quotation for your consideration. Where stated, 'Run' or 'Run Selection' means that skins are sold as they come. They are not graded and any given batch contain a mixture of grades, but predominantly averaging at an equivalent of grade II.


In our Types of Leather factsheet, we provide detailed information on the leathers we manufacture and sell. These files may be downloaded below. These downloads are in .pdf file formats, so you will require an appropriate reader, such as Adobe Acrobat to open them.

English Version - Click here (29kb)
Deutsche Version - Click here (30kb)
Version en EspaƱol - Click here (35kb)

All our leather is now sold in square metres, where 1 square metre = 10.76 square feet. e.g a 9 square foot Bookcalf = 0.84 square metres. The chart below shows a few of the conversion figures.
0.37 square metres = 4 square feet
0.46 square metres = 5 square feet
0.56 square metres = 6 square feet
0.65 square metres = 7 square feet
0.74 square metres = 8 square feet
0.84 square metres = 9 square feet
0.93 square metres = 10 square feet