This category covers establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing leather goods, not elsewhere classified, such as saddlery, harnesses, whips, embossed leather goods, leather desk sets, razor strops, and leather belting. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing gaskets and packing are classified in SIC 3053: Gaskets, Packing, and Sealing Devices. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing leather and sheep-lined clothing are classified in SIC 2386: Leather and Sheep-Lined Clothing.
All Other Leather Good Manufacturing
The industry category of manufacturers of miscellaneous leather goods encompasses a broad array of unusual products with somewhat archaic uses. For example, a significant number of items classified relate to antiquated equestrian pursuits and the reliance on the horse as a primary form of transportation, as it was during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the United States. For this reason, the miscellaneous leather goods industry can trace its roots back to the first skilled leather craftspeople who arrived on the North American continent with early European settlers, and even before that, back to near prehistoric times when militia units roamed much of Eurasia on horseback. The demand for such items as saddles, feed bags, halters and harnesses, riding crops, helmets, and stirrups made from leather later declined with the advent of the industrial era.
More recently, the miscellaneous leather goods industry shifted to manufacturing products for use in factories and other mechanical establishments. Such items included textile machinery aprons, machinery belting, and sleeves and leggings for welders. Declines in the manufacturing segment of the economy led to another shift toward consumer products. This area, which dominated the industry in the 1990s and early 2000s, is involved in manufacturing small leather novelty items, such as leather collars and harnesses for household dogs and cats. A large portion of earnings in this industry is derived from the manufacture and sale of leather desk accessories.
The value of industry shipments declined steadily from $628.5 million in 1998 to $425.6 million in 2001. The sluggish economic conditions in the United States that began in 2000 and were exacerbated by the September 11,2001 terrorist attacks were partly to blame for this downward trend, as were the growing numbers of inexpensive...