Leather Curated For the Home – We recently hand-selected 5 new residential leather collections in time for Summer home interior design projects. Get inspired by our leather gallery and request samples of your favorite residential leather hides.
Keleen Leathers’ KLAD™ Luxury Leather Walls offers designers an exciting new design dimension to create leather walls. Designs of all shapes and sizes can be precision cut to specified dimensions using any of Keleen’s exceptional leathers as the surface material. Designers also have a range of options using hair on hides, which are cut using steel rule dies.
Get Inspired By KLAD™ here.
Franklin and I wanted to extend our sincere gratitude for Keleen Leather’s contribution to our design vignette at Housing Work’s Design on a Dime. Thank you for helping us make a positive difference. This event is so rewarding, and we had another incredible experience this year. We’re happy to let you know that with your help, the event raised over $1.2M. Your support encourages us in our continued commitment to promote the design community, as well as Housing Works and their mission.
We’ve included a link to images of all the vignettes and attached a professional image of our design. We hope you love it as much as we do! See More Here. Photo credit: Jon Carter Photo
Thank you again!
Amazingly Beautiful – creates a dramatic impact in any space.
Leather walls are acoustical, flexible, and inherently flameproof.
Adobe Illustrator Compliant – you create it, we can cut it.
Tailored Finish – pieces mount securely to the wall with no bagging, wrinkles, or tension points. Can be used on curved surfaces and columns.
Its premium pad offers a luxurious soft touch and exceptional resiliency.
Design Flexibility – unlimited design combinations by mixing sizes, shapes, and leathers.
Simple and extremely cost effective to install.
No complicated methods with specialized installers and no complex track systems. A damaged tile can be easily removed and replaced.
Learn more: www.kladbykl.com
We love the combination of brass with the charcoal grey shearling. Tell us a bit about your design decisions for these chairs.
The frames were originally in chrome. I’m not really a chrome fan, and wanted them to have a warmer feel. We decided on the matt antique brass finish, and felt the grey shearling was the perfect compliment. Warm and cool, chic and cozy.
You’re a seasoned interior designer with many design resources. Why did you decide to work with Revitaliste? How did you find the experience?
We have been in business since 2002 and have worked with many local artisans. Revitaliste made the process of transforming these chairs easy (they even helped source the shearling for us); it was one-stop shopping and the price was competitive with other local sources. And the chairs came out beautifully!
Original Article: Revitaliste Blog
Photography by Poppy Lynch
Canstruction® New York, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charity. Canstruction® is a unique charity art exhibition and food drive. Our structures are made entirely out of full cans of food. At the end of our exhibition all food from is donated to City Harvest to help fed hungry New Yorkers. The exhibition’s participating teams compete against one another in the local Canstruction New York Competition and then go on to compete in the Canstruction International Competition to win titles in various categories. Continue Reading
Keleen “Kelly” Mullen, daughter of Keleen Leathers, Inc. owner Rick Mullen, discusses her rescue dog Fiona who is the face of KL’s Paws Project Program for homeless pets. Learn more here.
Keleen Leathers’ KLAD™ Luxury Leather Walls offers designers an exciting new design dimension to create leather walls. Designs of all shapes and sizes can be precision cut to specified dimensions using any of Keleen’s exceptional leathers as the surface material. Designers also have a range of options using hair on hides, which are cut using steel rule dies.
For your Classic Paris Club Chair choose from over 200 leathers to personalize your one of a kind Classic Paris Club Chairs. This coveted design stands the test of time. A century after this style was introduced it is still refreshingly modern, adding elegance to any décor. Keleen’s club chair is scaled down for maximum comfort and space utilization when used in pairs. We offer the timeless French aesthetic, combined with a comfortable seating position and hundreds of Keleen’s fine leather options for the opportunity to create your personal icon. (Size shown: Une Petite)
Sofisticato Lusso w/ Piping & Shearling
Wall Street Commodity
Learn more here or call 630.590.5300 for customer service.
At Keleen Leathers we understand the value of the perfect color and how each and every client dictates it. We have learned how every project is unique to the person it is for, which is why we spend so much time with our clients finding their perfect match. We even offer our custom leather program, backed with incredible support from our customer service team. Our satisfactory rate is through the roof and we are so glad to be trusted with vintage car interiors, custom furniture, unique leather walls, cool leather rug styles, etc.
However, sometimes a certain season comes along and we’re able to show certain trends – trends available year round that you can order at any time. The 13 skus you see in this post are online and waiting for you to sample them. Save the image above for future reference, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see about samples or ordering information.
1) PERSUEDE ME – ROSES ARE MAUVE
2) Cuba Mi Vida – Hemingway’s Humidor
3) Persuede Me – Think Pink
4) Color Clutch Viola-La
5) Animal Kingdom – Desert Tortoise
6) Color Kisses – Blushing Bride
7) Hair Parlor – Purple Hair Don’t Care
8) Cuba Mi Vida – Hemingway’s Humidor
9) Brisa Shearling – Neutral
10) Cuba Mi Vida – Streets of Santiago
11) Color Kisses – Parrot
12) Animal Kingdom – Teal Iguana
13) New York new York – Statue of Liberty
Brisa Shearling is a favorite with one of our top clients! Take a look at how it sets off this beautifully designed space.
Order samples of any of the below through our website today, or call us at 630.590.5300 to request a “Spring 2017” sample set.
Keleen Leathers would like to share our exciting association with international luxury brand Christopher Guy Midwest located at 371 W. Ontario, Chicago, IL. They are known worldwide for their exceptional, distinctive high-end offerings. It is truly our honor to be part of their showroom displays. Housed within luxe showroom Christopher Guy Midwest are 4 rooms featuring exquisite Keleen Leathers, Inc. products. They adorn the world’s finest residences, five-star hotel & luxury resorts, and beyond.
Upon entering the Christopher Guy Midwest Showroom you are welcomed by a vast collection of extravagant items, from furniture to chandeliers to rugs. Immediately to your right you will find 2 rooms featuring Keleen Leathers. Our gigantic rug adorns one area, and our Hair Parlor KLAD™ wall accents the adjoining. On the next floor just off of the elevator and to your right is our woven leather rug, beautifully kept in natural lighting.
Finally, on the 5th floor is a room just beyond the ballroom, which is so awe-inspiring it must be seen in person. In this room is our Animal Kingdom leather in panel form. Framed by beautifully finished wood, this sets off the brown in the piece and brings immense charm to the space. See photos below.
Keleen Leathers offers an incredible automotive program to perfectly fit the needs of our esteemed clientele. We have designed the automotive program to offer thousands of in-stock options that can be shipped within days. Along with the most amazing custom program in the industry that allows us to match hides to any color, grain, or sheen imaginable.
All Keleen Leathers automotive hides are:
We’re happy to serve the collector seeking to match original production leather, the enthusiast looking for a new, modern concept, and the car owner seeking to simply repair leather on an everyday driver car. Since the owner of Keleen Leathers is a car enthusiast and collector himself, our staff is extensively trained to regard the needs and requirements of automotive leather. Please contact us for more information or to request samples.
“Here are some photos of my 1962 Coupe DeVille. I am extremely pleased with the quality of the material and most importantly the match. I was able to salvage my original seat bolsters and even leather on the armrests of the seats Only the seating surface was replaced with your leather, the rest is from 1962!! I have shown the upholstery work to several friends who are very discriminating car owners and they were shocked with the excellent match. Please also extend my thanks to Maggie for a wonderful experience your company has provided. I would recommend your company to anyone in the antique car hobby who is looking for the correct leather on their vehicle.”
Keleen Leathers, Inc. created the Paws Project program in 2014. It began as an inkling of an idea from Keleen Mullen, the daughter of owner Rick Mullen, and evolved into a brilliant show of compassion and true love of animals. Paws Project focuses on leathers that are perfect for settings with children, dogs, and/or high traffic. This program addresses the reality of life and couples it with the beauty and efficiency of leather. Donations are made from every Paws Project approved sale to help pet rescue organizations.
Nearly every employee at KL has a pet and understands what it’s like to adopt/rescue animals. We all have unconditional love for our furry pals, so this cause is near and dear to each of us. Even Dionna Damato, daughter to Keleen Mullen, has been influenced by her mother’s activism in the pet rescue community, as well as by Paws Project. She had a few things to say regarding both.
What do you know about rescue?
I know that rescue can save all sorts of animals.
What have you done to be a part of rescue?
I help my mom and dad take care of all the animals we rescue.
How did saving Fiona make you feel?
Saving Fiona made me feel happy and excited.
What do you think might have happened to Fiona without rescue?
I think she could have died if we didn’t rescue her.
Will you be a part of rescue when you are old enough? How?
Yes! I will start out fostering and then I will adopt. It is both a lot of work to foster but it can also be easy.
The hard part about it is that you have to know when to feed them and when to let them out. You have to help them when they are scared.
The easy part is probably when they are laying down and sleeping. The hardest part of all is saying goodbye when they get adopted.
My mom cries everytime one of our fosters leaves and gets adopted.
She cries and says “it’s OK, it’s a good thing”.
As a family owned company, children and pets stop by to visit often. We’ve found that Fiona, the face of Paws Project, influences these children to behave in such a compassionate and kind manner. As you read above, there is an understanding that grows between us and our pets, which leads to greater things! Dionna may well grow up to become a Veterinarian or a fostering “mom” to homeless pets.
Today, we’ll be making a donation to IDR+, located here in Illinois. Several of our employees, including Keleen, has adopted from this organization and actively supports their mission. We sincerely thank our friends at IDR+ for helping homeless pets.
Thank you for taking time to read this post. We will continue to be there for your family, your pets, and all your leather needs.
The pendulum has swung back and forth when it comes to the use of leather in automobiles. Years and years ago the use of leather was predominant throughout an automotive interior. Seating, door panels, and even headliners were all in leather. In the ’50s it became a combination of some leather, some vinyl. In the ‘60’s and ‘70s manufacturers went almost totally to vinyls for their upholstery materials, attempting to keep costs down, into the ‘90s, it is back again to leather, the miracle product of nature. Strong, rough and rugged as a bull, yet breathable, soft and supple as baby’s butt depending on how it is tanned, nothing manmade can even approach the features of the incredible product – leather.
The long molecular chains in the leather’s makeup create a product that wears out razor blades after just a few cuts, demonstrating its truly unusual strength and durability. Yet these three-dimensional chains are what allow it to drape and mold to any contour, offering a look when upholstered nonexistent with any manmade material. The porous structure of the natural skin provides a very desirable breathability and absorption of color creating a beauty only Mother Nature can offer.
But leather isn’t leather! Vast differences exist in leather when tanned for different end uses. For the purpose of this article let me limit the discussion to the differences between leather tanned for furniture versus lather tanned for automotive end use. Generally, when tanning leathers we look to accomplish three goals. First is to make the product inert. It is initially a living substance and we must stop what would be the process of decomposition. Then we want to both color and soften the material for upholstery use. The hides are placed in very large drums and rotated with numerous chemicals to impart desirable features we wish to have in the finished product.
Therefore, be aware of these differences. Choose a reliable supplier and ask about how products being offered for sale are tanned. You will be the wiser and happier for it. Your investment in properly tanned leather will pay dividends as the years go by.
“That Ideal Sample You Seek Isn’t In Your Resource Library, It’s In Ours!”
Best explained by a true story of two clients’ quick phone calls to Keleen Leathers, Inc. for that elusive item they had in their heads, but not in their hands, and not in anyone’s leather boxes. Shearling hides have become a mainstay of our offerings. We sample them in natural colors for obvious reasons. However, we enjoy associations with more than forty tanneries worldwide providing us with truly tens of thousands of stock leather items in our master library which is merely a quick phone call away.
I have an interesting example I can share with you. One day we received a call from Lincoln Motorcars, Concept Car Division, and the question we were asked was; “Might you have your shearling available in a navy blue color?” Maggie went back to our master library and sure enough there lies a gorgeous navy blue shearling sample she sends on to the customer. A week or so later we received a very nice order for about 30 navy blue shearlings we quickly shipped out.
If you lookup 2016 Lincoln Continental Concept Car, up will pop up a gorgeous blue vehicle and the interior images will show this gorgeous navy blue shearling skins throughout the interior of this magnificent vehicle!!!
A few days later we receive a call from a New York architectural firm expressing interest in our KLAD leather wall tile offering, asking if we can fabricate our KLAD tiles using our shearling skins? We respond, “Absolutely”. The next question was, “Might you have a nice navy blue in your shearling collection?” We respond, as a matter of fact, yes”. Out goes this same sample to the architectural firm. About a week later we open the mail to see a nice order for 260 KLAD tiles; 20″X 16″ for a Karaoke room in a home in the South Hamptons, New York!!!
So the moral to my story is, please call us with your requests as I believe the above noted two projects, oddly for the same item, reveal how our vast inventory of samples can prove of value to you. Truly there are many stories of “odd”, “very odd” items we have been asked for where the caller was extremely surprised that in fact we had exactly what they were seeking!!!
I was asked about cladding an entire giant winding staircase in our leather floor tile hides for a client in Greenwich, CT. We had a fabricator picture frame stitch each stair step, edging and facing panels in this incredibly beautiful leather. After installed the client loved it so much they did two more staircases in two of their other homes.
We’ve also completed orders for many wild metallic brilliantly colored leather hides for national award winning custom street rods. So, we hope you check out our leather collections for your unique and custom orders too! Thank you for considering Keleen Leathers, and thank you for reading.
There’s something so delightful to remember from December (of 2015). Keleen Leathers’ Gigantic Rug was featured in DreamHome 2015 in the bedroom. Frank Fontana mentioned us in the video above. We were so happy to work with him and be a part of this amazing showcase of elegance and beauty. Take a 360 tour by clicking here.
Fontana’s vision was simple: a bedroom should be a retreat that stimulates the senses and tickles the imagination, while projecting the feeling of serenity and balance! With the room’s grounding undertones of rustic wood elements, Fontana and his team contrast glamorous finishes with layers of rich texture to create a warm, yet stylish motif awash in monochromatic gray tones. A clash of metallic wall coverings, gray wood planking, mirrored furnishings and sensible styling make this room a perfect Midwest meets city dream. Custom window treatments, custom hide rug, one of kind art piece accents and comfortable seating round out the show-stopping design. (Source)
A bit of information on our Gigantic Rugs: When one hair on hide rug just isn’t big enough…. our gigantic rugs are the solution! We can create a custom rug that is the perfect size for your space. Natural patterns, stencils, hair parlor… options are endless. Rugs are complete with backing. Call us at 630.590.5300 for more details.
Keleen Leathers’ KLAD™ Surface System offers designers an exciting new design dimension to create leather walls and floors. Designs of all shapes and sizes can be cut to specified dimensions using any of Keleen’s exceptional leathers and hair on hides as the surface material.
A design first, Keleen’s KLAD™ Surface System offers designers the ability to create a wall to wall and floor to ceiling style installation using any of our leathers or hair on hides.
Your newest ‘go to’ and our favorite new European Bovine Hides have arrived! This is crackled sophistication at its best! Sofisticato is distressed, natural leather produced on South American hides, though tanned in Europe. The tanning which creates the crackled look requires a very high level of sophistication, hence the name Sofisticato. Hides have a gorgeous rustic crackled appearance that doesn’t hide the beautiful, natural markings of pure aniline leather. Sofisticato will patina over time like any fine leather. The amount of “crackle” will vary as you move from one area to another within the hide. The leather is perfect for high end use.
Thank you for choosing Keleen Leathers time and time again. In 2015 we celebrated 39 years, which makes 2016 all the more special. This is the year that we celebrate 40 years servicing the interior design and architecture community. What an honor and joy it is to still be here after all these years. Times continue to change, but our loyalty and bond remains the same. We hope to continue to grow with you in this New Year.
With your help we have successfully continued the Paws Project leather program, which helps homeless pets by allowing us to donate to pet rescue organizations. You’ve continuously made the impossible possible, and we thank each and every one of you for your ongoing support. Here’s to a phenomenal 2016!
There is one time a year in my crazy life where I get a real guilt free break from all the stresses of this wonderful company, and the hectic schedule my family keeps at home. When school is closed and hockey, gymnastics, and everything else are not in session. The phones quiet down and the warehouse isn’t open.
For me the answer is so simple. I love it because I finally get to sit down and just be home with my hubby, kids, and dogs. I am not at work, and I don’t have to be anyone’s boss. In fact I then become an employee answering only to my wonderful children. LOL!
Other than the holiday break, the only time I sit on my couch and relax is when I am ill. Sad, I know, but so true for so many of you hard workers out there. Until that holiday break there are still gifts to buy, things to wrap and school concerts to attend. Quotes to do, and samples to send. So we wait and we dream. 3 workdays left everyone, 3 days!
You seem to really slow down for just a moment so I can empty my very full DVR 😉 I wish everyone a very relaxing, and calm little break!
It has been a wonderful year of new and exotic lines for KL. Now we have 3 sophisticated and beautiful Fall leather collections. We hope you fall in love. Order samples online or by phone today.
Smooth as Silk – a natural grain leather that has all the charm and elegance of pure silk. With smooth colors like Butterscotch, Caramel and Truffle how can you go wrong? Its silky touch and rich colors make this leather perfect for your high end use.
Iconic – a “Cashmere Sweater” worn on a “Happy Hayride” during the “Harvest Moon” drinking “Apple Cider” and eating something sweet and “Caramel Coated”?? Enjoy your “Oktoberfest”, decorate a “Seasonal Scarecrow” and have a piece of “Pecan Pie” this “Hazy Halloween”. The “Iconic” collection is a natural grained leather perfect for your high end client. The leather is soft, natural and as they say “Iconic”!
Rogue – an aniline dyed leather with a wax finish. The wax finish not only gives the leather a durable coating it also helps in repairing light surface scratches by gently rubbing over them. The crackling and pebbling effect is achieved by a delicate milling process. The visible natural characteristics add to its warmth and vintage look. Be daring, call on your favorite Rogue “Don Juan”, “Casanova” or “Robin Hood” to bring your upholstered pieces to life.
Our leather is featured in this month’s issue of Elle Décor Super Chic. Utah 1618 was chosen for the beautifully upholstered ottoman. Now, Utah is often described as having that “Old World” look. A two-tone effect and a bit of oil on the surface gives these aniline hides charm and character. A clear water based top coat is applied at the end of the tanning process for a soft, smooth feel and a bit of added durability and stain protection. If you’re interested in doing a project similar to the one below, we recommend Utah. It is one of our many collections reflecting elegant vintage luxury.
P.S. Thank you for choosing Keleen Leathers.
Our new hair-on-hide leather collection HAIR PARLOR is featured in this Season’s publication!
Do “Brunettes Have More Fun”? Ready for your “Set & Style” you “Blonde Bombshell”? Want a “Purple Pixie Cut” or should I “Cover My Greys”? Whether you are “Up In Foils” getting “Highlights”, a “Silver Streak Cougar” or have “Purple Hair Don’t Care” The KL Hair Parlor has the right look for you! Hair Parlor is a combination of prime hair-on cowhides that are both acid-washed (Metallic or Non Metallic) and natural aniline dyed. Both are produced using the finest European hides. They are a very unique product imported from a specialized tannery in Italy. The acid-washed hair-on cowhides are dipped to create an acid-washed effect that is completely unique from hide to hide. The natural hair-on cowhides are dyed throughout.
So, go “Punk Blue” or “Rock The Mohawk”!!! Get a “Beautiful Blowout” on your “Platinum Blonde” “Goldie Locks”. The Hair Parlor is truly unique and really adds oomph to any room.
Sold in 55 SF full hides with the exception of “Highlights” which is available in half hides.
All running color ways may not be shown. Please call 1-630-590-5300.
Keleen Leathers, Inc. has launched the Smooth As Silk leather collection for Fall 2015. Smooth as Silk is a natural grain leather that has all the charm and elegance of pure silk. When we first saw these lovely hides we were so amazed at the feel and look of it. So much so that we knew you would fall in love. Its name is so befitting. With smooth colors like Butterscotch, Caramel and Truffle how can you go wrong? Its silky touch and rich colors make this leather perfect for your high end use.
Order free samples today by clicking here.
Keleen Leathers, Inc.‘s multiple hide inspection procedure assures that you are guaranteed quality when specifying Keleen Leathers, Inc. leathers. There is no question that our “product of Nature” has elements and issues different than that of synthetic and manmade materials.
Leather hides go through many processes wherein at each stage the quality of each hide is reviewed and sorted generally on an A, B, C and D grading system. As hides proceed through production at each stage these elements progressively show themselves. Elements not seen in the very early stages become more visible and apparent as the processing continues. Truly many hides initially felt to be A or B grade wind up C and D as they near the final production processes.
At Keleen Leathers, Inc. we only seek “A” grade, “first selection” hides. I can comment, after now thirty-eight years owning Keleen Leathers, Inc. as I have visited other suppliers they will fill orders by pulling “A” grade bundles and merely seeking to equate an order to the requested square footage ordered. This is not good enough for us when filling your orders. We always unwrap such bundles and complete a thorough final inspection of these so called “A Grade”, “First Selection” hides to absolutely insure that the hides we ship are all both truly premium “A Grade” hides.
We additionally shade match the hides insuring consistency unmatched in our industry. By “shade match” I refer to maybe going through perhaps 20 hides from the same dye lot to fill for instance a six hide order. Yes there will be color variations within dye lots so we take the extra step just prior to your order leaving Keleen Leathers to see that the hides are both “A Grade” and color matched insuring almost a zero complaint potential for your valued order.
We have found over the years that our final inspection process makes for trouble free delivered orders for our valued customers.
This Animal Kingdom leather collection is going to put the GROWL in your next project!! Resembling the top and underbelly of a crocodile, its uniqueness is enviably eye-catching. After embossing the pattern, the artisans begin the laborious process of hand staining all of the grain. The result is a leather that has a multi-tone genuine crocodile appearance. Teal Iguana has a matte finish, while Croco-delic, Desert Tortoise, Golden Phoenix, Komodo Dragon, Sneaky Snake and Silver Axolotl has an always stylish metallic finish.
Order free samples of these premium Italian hides by clicking here.
BELTwalk offers unlimited design possibilities at half the price of traditional leather floor & wall tiles! Cutting the leather into strips allows us to develop this magnificent leather at a 50% lower cost than if provided in squares. Keleen Leathers BELTwalk vegetable tanned leather flooring absorbs the traces of our life as it grows old without becoming unattractive.
…to create leather walls and floors. Designs of all shapes and sizes can be cut to specified dimensions using any of Keleen’s exceptional leathers and hair on hides as the surface material.
View the complete magazine by selecting Chicago Life Fall 2015 Issue.
Size: 22 to 25 sq. ft. | Weight: 9-12 oz. | Thickness: 3.0 to 4.0 mm | Dye: Drum | Durability: Very Durable
Leather Hide Sides are also known as “Saddle Leather” is eco tanned and biodegradable. Leather Sides are perfect for, but not limited to, equestrian, chairs or desk tops. The sides can be skived to lighter weights if your project calls for it. The sides are durable yet stylish. Our available leather hide sides color options include: Beech, Black Ash, Black Cherry, Chestnut, Cocoa, and Teak. If you have any questions regarding this collection please call us at 630.590.5300 or email email@example.com.
To create this magnificent and exquisite effect shown, engraved rollers transfer elegant designs under heat and pressure which allow for a soft finish. Most other embossing styles are done with embossing plates which yield fewer patterns, have a match line or are only available on half hides. The advantage Keleen Leathers has is that we use 48 to 60 inch wide rollers that can be used on whole hides. There is not a tremendous loss in cutting yield which often occurs when using traditional plates. The finished product is luxurious, and adds one of-a-kind flair to your upholstered piece or interior project.
Hair Parlor is a combination of fine European leather hides (prime) that are both acid-washed (Metallic or Non Metallic) and natural aniline dyed. Both are produced using the finest European hides. imported from a specialized tannery in Italy, the acid-washed hair-on cowhides are dipped to create an acid-washed effect that is completely unique from hide to hide. The natural hair-on cowhides are dyed throughout. So, go “Punk Blue” or “Rock The Mohawk”!!! Get a “Beautiful Blowout” on your “Platinum Blonde” “Goldie Locks”. The Hair Parlor is truly unique and really adds oomph to any room.
Featured In Sports Illustrated – Rigitano said he was working as a bar when some of his co-workers bet him $10 he could not build a full-size replica of the Stanley Cup out of bottle caps. Three months, 7,000 bottle caps and an enormous amount of hot glue later, he won the bet and has since been invited twice to the team’s fan festival to show off his creation, where he was photographed with the real thing. Click here to continue reading.
Keleen Leathers was very pleased and excited to become a part of the 2015 Merchandise Mart DreamHome event on the first floor of this amazing internationally recognized building. Mr. Frank Fontana, a nationally known interior designer, writer and talk show host challenged Keleen Leathers to fabricate a huge “hair on” bovine cowhide into a rug for his bedroom display. While we could easily have made a rug of any size in panels, he asked if we could somehow fabricate a rug in the natural styling of a cowhide, but in a size much larger than cows grow!!! Our artisans got to work and very cleverly affixed two hides in a fashion to exactly accomplish Mr. Fontana’s request. This area rug exactly fits to the area at the foot of the bed offering a softness and natural beauty perfectly fitting the width of the king size bed in this beautiful vingnette. Further, please note how perfectly flat this rug lays as our special backing material provides an exacting leveling element dramatically adding to the visual aesthetic of this very beautiful natural genuine leather rug.
If you are attending Neocon or have other reason to visit Chicago, do not miss the six amazingly beautiful rooms created by Chicago’s leading interior designers at the “Dream House” display on the first floor of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
I have been asked to write a blog entry for Keleen Leathers. That would, I guess, make sense since my name is Keleen. I have never written a blog entry before so here is my best attempt!
I am a realist so I am first brought to a place that makes me wonder why anyone would want a glimpse into my little world. I do not need to sing the struggles of my life to anyone. My life is amazing. It is however, BUSY. Every day I somehow manage to get my three kids (ages 2, 7, & 8) and myself out the door in the morning.
A morning without a fit from my toddler is a successful one. I could care less that she usually wears her pajamas and a slew of non-matching accessories she has chosen to add to her outfit (or costume depending how you see it) for the day. Today I am blessed with being able to wear yoga pants and a high messy bun. At least I match! As I look around the house, 3 of my 4 dogs are chasing each other around the coffee table. Fiona (our KL “paws Project” ambassador) is actually lying down because she was spayed yesterday. Keeping her relaxed has been misery, but I actually need to get her back to the vet as the incision looks abnormal today. I don’t know how I am going to make that happen but I will squeeze it in somewhere. The kitchen looks like a bomb went off, but I have to go as I have 9 emails that need attention and I have to get into the office. How I would love to have a housekeeper and/or a nanny, but I know my three year old is my last baby and I want her with me. Did I mention my son has baseball practice today too!?
Being a working mom isn’t easy. Having four dogs doesn’t make it any easier, not to mention a puppy (what was I thinking! LOL). If I could just get rid of my clean freak, OCD tendencies maybe it would be a little better? I am blessed to work for my parents who want the kids at the office even more than I do. Thank goodness we do not run a stuffy office. I could not handle that! We laugh A LOT at KL. Joke with each other, truly care about each other. Sharing too much information is very normal here. Aside from the “Mullen family” most people here somehow knew each other before selling leather together. That makes for a very interesting dynamic!
I guess maybe my life isn’t as boring as it sometimes seems to me. I have a great husband, three awesome kids, and a I really enjoy working at Keleen. Yes I don’t go out late on Saturday nights anymore. In fact I prefer not to go out at all. My idea of a good time is a great pedicure when I can squeeze it in. Having said that, my life is FULL, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our Thrift Recycled Leather Collection features 17 colors sold on bolts that are 54″/56″ width. The minimum order is 67 SF. This type of item is usually sold by the yard and not by the square foot, but to add convenience to the leather experience, we sell by the SF. It is a great deal. This collection begins at $4.95/SF. If you would like to see what is available to you in for such a wonderfully low priced line, view the collection here.
At Keleen Leathers we strive to maintain a balance of inexpensive quality leathers and luxury leather products. Keep in mind that we also provide a custom leather program. If ever you need a color that is SPOT ON for your leather project (and even your “do it yourself” projects) we are here to help!
Our Brisa Shearling Patchwork Rug was featured in last month’s issue of Boutique Design. Brisa shearling hides are an exquisite offering from Keleen Leathers. With a dense hair that is sheared to a uniform length prior to being dyed and treated, Brisa is definitely one of the most popular selections among high-end clientele. After being tanned, certain selections such as our “Coffee” and “Shadow” offer an extra step in the finishing process. Ends of the hair are dyed white for a dazzling appearance. Brisa Shearling is the softest and most amazing shearling offered on the market today. Custom colors are available with a minimum order quantity of 500 SF.
Many thanks to our friends over at Savvy for sharing this beautiful photo. We also thank you for your continued support of Keleen Leathers, Inc.
See the article here.
I drive myself crazy as a “do it now” guy who never puts anything off, but for some reason unknown to me, I let seeking a new representative for San Diego/Orange County stay on my “back burner” for a number of months. Then, with no real intention of putting this off, I got around to the issue in early February truly by accident. Then all of a sudden Irish Luck comes into play. I got a referral to Becky Walker and Associates based in San Diego, also covering Orange County California. Momma Mia!!! I now come to find that Becky Walker has an amazing leather background, having sold leathers for about twenty years with Keleen’s two largest competitors, and days before my contact Becky had separated from our biggest competitor!!!
Let’s add to the story that oddly the temperatures in Chicago were hitting all-time lows while San Diego was at its normal range of right about 76 degrees!!! So a perfect time for me to trot off to San Diego early on a bitterly cold Sunday morning to arrive in CA mid-morning to blinding bright sunshine at an incredible Oceanside resort hotel. Well, someone has to see to this need for Keleen Leathers, right?
I thoroughly enjoyed this Sunday afternoon then Monday I was so delighted to be introduced to three very charismatic women at a gorgeous designer showroom in Del Mar, California. I then spent two days filled with enthusiastic excitement shared by all of us about this new association. All four of us felt as though this is one of those unexpected turns in life of a “marriage made in heaven”. Keleen Leathers, Inc. is truly thrilled and very proud to have Becky Walker and Associates as part of the Keleen Leathers sales network.
Then, “Icing on The Cake”!! Becky suggested to me that I should take the train going on up to Los Angeles to meet Matthew Caracappa, Keleen’s Los Angeles representative. What an unexpected amazing adventure. So incredibly beautiful is this slightly over two hour panoramic experience of one of America’s most beautiful vistas; ocean, mountains, agriculture, forestry. I have now told many to get this trip on their life’s “bucket list” of things to do while still on this earth.
So, my “Irish Luck” has provided both a great new representative group and a very fun experience, not to mention the 76 degree weather while Chicago shivers with wind chills well below zero!!! ( Pic here of me in the lounge chair in the sun)???
Our Chic Croc Collection is perfect for upholstery, whether you go ‘White’ or ‘Grey’. It adds a stylish flair that you can’t do without! Chic Croc is one of the many reasons we love providing new collections. Metal Ray is uniquely beautiful. From Northern Spain and Southern Frances comes these stunning plated hides with a hand finished custom stingray print. Tone on tone coloration, done by hand tipping the top, highlights the round grain pattern making it exquisite. It is great for upholstery work due to its durability.
You might ask, “What is Color Clutch?”
Color Clutch is a small, compact “clutch” of our leathers that is small enough to keep at your desk, or even take on the go!
We proudly present “Volume One”, a collection of 56 leathers perfect for literally any project. These budget friendly hides are soft and luxurious, as well as incredibly durable. It holds 50 amazing colors plus 6 gorgeous “fairy dust” metallic!
Designed for high end residential, hospitality, contract and any other application you can imagine!
Written By Company Owner, Keleen Mullen
Fiona’s Story: A Lonely Beginning With a Joyful
Ending New Start
Fiona was found on the streets of Chicago in a very rough part of the city. She was brought to Animal Control. For a long while I had been promising the kids we could foster a puppy. Somehow she became our little sweetheart. She came to us emaciated, losing her hair, and constantly shaking. It was such a tragedy to see her that way. It starts one to reflect about all the other homeless, sorrow-filled pets out there. We weren’t going to let this one continue to suffer.
After a week at my house, it became clear she was no longer a “foster”. She was meant to join the Keleen family. We love and adore her, both at home and in the office. She runs around the visiting the Keleen Leathers office family and sleeps under the office Christmas tree. She is going to have the best life I can give her.
Fiona is a perfect example of the animals that directly benefit from our KL Paws Project. Your business allows us to continue helping these amazing animals. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Happy New Year,
December 28, 2014 – For this New Year make sure you do your Leather right! Keleen Leathers offers a wide range of products ideal for any and all projects. With over 38 years experience it is no wonder we have developed such great relationships with clients. We will always make certain we take care of you! That is why it is no wonder our company owner was featured on WGN Radio. Frank welcomes Rick Mullen from Keleen Leathers to discuss the simple luxury of fine leathers in your home. Rick also discusses KLAD™ Surface System!
Take a listen: http://wgnradio.com/2014/12/28/franks-fav-keleen-leathers/
Hide Size: 55 square feet
Thickness: 2.25 – 2.75 ounce
Weight: 0.9 – 1.1 mm
Flame Resistance: Passes California 117, Passes UFAC/NFPA 260 Class 1
Rogue is an aniline dyed leather with a wax finish. The wax finish gives the leather a durable coating. It also helps in repairing light surface scratches by gently rubbing over them. The crackling and pebbling effect is achieved by a delicate milling process. It is what makes this collection so dangerously charming. The visible natural characteristics add to its warmth and vintage look. Be daring, go rogue, and call on your favorite “Don Juan”, “Casanova” or “Robin Hood” to bring your upholstered pieces to life.
Written By Vice President, Scott Gelander
I’m sharing an experience from the other day that I just can’t get off my mind. While making client calls with a Keleen sales rep we visited a firm where the resource library is adjacent to the employee kitchen area. The resource librarian invited us to leave some of our new samples at the end of the kitchen island as it was around lunch time and she said many of the designers will see them.
While setting out a new collection a few designers were in and out of the kitchen. One asked, “What are you showing?” I replied, “We’re leaving out our new leather collection.” She said that she hesitates to specify leather because it’s bad for the environment. She read in a trade publication that tanneries can be very irresponsible, and that there is no way of knowing where and how the cows were raised. I replied that this can be true in some cases but at Keleen we source leathers primarily form Germany, Spain, and Italy. Our tanners supply global clients from Adidas, BMW, Chevrolet and so on. Our tannery’s clients would not tolerate polluting the environment or cutting down the rain forest, nor would Keleen. I added we also have a collection out of South America from a tannery with a gold star rating from Leather Working Group (LWG). She asked, “What does that mean?” LWG is the organization that certifies a tanneries traceability of hides to the origin and the environmental conscience of the tannery. A gold star rating, after an extensive and costly audit, certifies that this operation is among the cleanest in the world. Our suppliers have many other certifications that touch the environment as well ISO, IEC and TS that audit every operation of the tannery.
A few things really have been bothering me since this conversation. We go to great lengths at Keleen to partner with the world’s most responsible tanneries. We show great leathers that get specified by leading firms only to have a purchasing company tell us that leather is too expensive. I can get that from such and such. Being in this business almost 30 years I know full well that such and such sells leather from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India or similar. The substitute is not from Germany where there is an environmental conscience, yet I’m wondering where is the conscious when it comes to price?
I can only assume if this firm is not specifying leather they are using either fabric or vinyl, talk about an environmental disaster.
Each year, one global industry gulps down trillions of liters of fresh water, together with massive amounts of chemicals. The wastewater from that industry is then dumped, often untreated, into rivers that bring its toxic content to the sea, where it spreads around the globe.
The industry in question? The textile dyeing sector, whose colorful products belie the reality that it is an egregious polluter, especially in China. By some estimates they produce — and then discharge — roughly 40 percent of all dyeing chemicals worldwide. (Read more here.)
Oh! Fabric dying is maybe the largest polluter. I’ll use vinyl.
One part of the mission of the Healthy Building Network is to help eliminate the use of building products that pose environmental health risks. High on their list of materials are those that release PBTs into the environment. They’ve concluded that PVC falls into this category. A few quotes sum up their assessment of PVC: “When its entire life cycle is considered, PVC appears to be associated with more dioxin formation than any other single product.” “It has no place on the palette of green building materials.” (Read more here.)
To the uninformed, this one designer’s comment may have sounded well informed. How easy it is to single out leather when the facts are overwhelming that taking a skin, a byproduct of the food industry, already made into a fabric by nature, processing it into upholstery leather responsibly, and using it as a cover material with a life span many times that of fabric or vinyl? Responsibly produced leather is a much greener choice. Which cover material scares you now?
Our conversation was brief. I don’t know if anything I said had this designer thinking maybe there’s another side to what she read about leather. As she left I noticed her pick up a big leather handbag, a leather cased iPad protruding from the top. Wearing her leather shoes she made her way out probably still thinking leather was bad.
Thank you for reading For The Environmentally Conscious.
Written By KL Owner, Rick Mullen
I have owned and operated Keleen Leathers, Inc. along with my wife Linda for over 38 years now. I can’t find a way to express my excitement that after this amount of time we have just moved into new headquarters, doubling our size. Hence the title move and renaissance. I’m feeling and believing it is as though we are experiencing a rebirth of this great company. I am so blessed that my daughter, Keleen and my son Frank, ages 32 and 30, are taking over the helm of a business along with Linda and myself as we have all come to love and continue to have great passion for both leathers and our mission. What is our mission? It is to continue to bring amazingly beautiful and different leathers to significant interior designers and architects around the world.
How can a father know or plan that such a wonderful series of events could take place? I never thought nor planned for this great surprise to me. After I was blessed with children I assumed they would one day find careers in other fields of their choosing, never having thought it would be to continue in their parents pursuit of a passion for the miracle natural product, leather. I logically now conclude that they saw the fulfillment they could see in their parents work, along with an amazing staff of wonderful loyal employees. Obviously they then were drawn to this great opportunity for them and so now Linda and I can enjoy day to day the presence of our children along with our great employees. Many days too Linda and I enjoy seeing our small grandchildren playing in and amongst the beautiful hanging hides as truly they seem to find them elements of pleasure after school hours and during their summer vacations.
So in truth we have moved and grown, and I find the company going through a renaissance with the youthful spirit of my children. Keleen and Frank infuse their ideas and valuable contribution along with our younger employees which I can see provides a connection with our clientele that in some ways I will admit offer a vision that is now past for me.
I conclude merely by saying; a person, a father could not be more prideful than me as I see something Linda and I created over many years of dedicated work now moving on through our devoted children.
Written By Vice President, Scott Gelander
As a global hide trader with a career in the upholstery leather business, customers and tanners often call to ask me, “Why are leather prices rising every week?” There is one main reason. China!
China’s middle class represents over 300 million people, vastly outnumbering the entire population of the United States. All of 2003 China’s auto sales for new vehicles were 1.8 million. In January of 2014 China sold 2.16 million cars in just one month! This puts them on track for some 25 million cars this year. They have surpassed the US by nearly 10 million more vehicles sold.
You may be asking, “What’s this have to do with leather?” The answer is: everything. Above average auto sales means more cowhides are needed to produce leather interiors. The top raw material for automotive leather is American cowhides. Now, millions of cars are being produced, which requires millions of hides.
The automotive industry consumption is a major factor contributing to demand for cowhides exceeding the supply. The new Chinese middle class prefers leather handbags, jackets, shoes, boots, briefcases, belts, wallets, and furniture. The luxury brands like Louis Vuitton line the streets of China’s major cities like McDonalds in the US. Retail is booming.
The combination of autos, personal leather goods, and leather furniture demands make China the leather buying capitol of the world. Last year hide prices were 20% over the previous year. Today prices for the best selections are up another 10%. As a major hide packer told me last week, “I have been in this business 30 years and never seen anything like what has happened the past few years, especially the past few weeks.”
Even at historic high prices, would you be surprised to know that most US hide sellers are completely sold out through March?
To many, leather represents luxury and sophistication. The world is getting a lot more luxurious and sophisticated. Therefore, expenses rise, and now you know why.