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2 ply leather? Answered

While starting on this bag I deconstructed an Italian bag I already had that was falling appart, hoping to possibly reuse some elements.

At first it seemed like normal chrome tanned leather with a brown grain side and neutral flesh side. Upon further deconstruction; however, I found that it was a very thin (but stiff) brown grain layer and a separate flesh layer (also quite thin) that had a smooth finish on the back, and then a layer of cheese cloth between the two. There was not any adhesive holding the 3 layers together. My question is: why did they do this instead of using a thicker piece of chrome tanned. The way they did it seems like a lot more work but produced a less sturdy product. As I said it was falling apart. I can't see this method being money saving as it requires cutting and skiving twice as many pieces.