Japanese Urushi lacquer printed leather24 October 2005
Hamy were founded in 2004 with the aim of producing the most natural and environmentally friendly leather in the world. They have spent ten years researching ways to achieve their objective and their Japanese lacquer coated and printed leather is the result. The lacquer itself is produced from sap from the sumach tree and Hamy say it has unbelievable durability and adhesion. 'There are many non-chrome and some natural dyed leathers but a natural coating system has been non-existent. We can provide all natural leather: chrome free, natural dye, naturally coated/printed leather.' They also provide a coating and printing service using only Japanese lacquer which is used for both coating and printing. The 100% natural lacquer enables them 'to produce silk screens with definition and expressiveness that rivals textile fabrics.' Due to the innate qualities of Japanese lacquer, the leather will not smell of solvents and will not melt and burn to emit toxic gases. They claim it also has antibacterial properties and, most of all, will enhance the natural feel and touch of the leather. Japanese lacquer has a 5,000 year history as the world's first lacquer coating system. It has a beautiful shine, high durability and organic touch which Hamy say cannot be surpassed by synthetic coating systems. Throughout history, Japanese lacquer has been used to produce objects of beauty and elegance. It can be readily mixed with colouring agents and, unlike synthetic polymer coatings and paint agents, multi-layered Japanese lacquer will not peel or separate. The most elegant leather is the 'naked' type with a minimal level of coating in order to preserve the natural grain. There have been many difficulties with printing directly onto the leather because of adhesion and durability problems. Currently the most used method is to apply a film to the leather surface to produce patterns and designs. However, the leather obviously loses its natural feel and appearance, as well as its ability to breathe. In addition to the silk screen method, Hamy are also able to create protruding embossed prints that can be felt as well as seen. Most of all, they say, they can produce designer leathers that can satisfy the exact need of the buyer in relatively small qualities. Customers can either order the printed leather or can avail themselves of the coating and printing service only.