Furthermore, the senior management team has been reshuffled to increase the overall effectiveness in the key areas of the business: David Packer (son of Lindsay) has been appointed raw material procurement manager, and Steve Hawkins (formerly of Pittards Plc, UK) has taken over the role of operations manager.

On the consumer side, Paul Evans (formerly of E Astley & Sons Ltd, NZ) has been appointed marketing and sales manager, with Darryl Cassingham (also a former Pittards innovations manager) now heading the technical and innovations team.

Packer Leather continue to concentrate their efforts in the high performance market, a top end niche that requires specialist leathers for certain sports or other activities needing non-slip and other characteristics. Examples are Kool thermal camouflaging, Duratek abrasion resistance, K100 glove leather and Microblok leather with anti-microbial protection.

Packer have a contract with the Australian army for combat boots and their Defender & Kombat leather is just one in the stable of performance leathers, designed specifically for military footwear, clothing and accessories.

Built into this natural product are advanced features creating hyper strength attributes, high dynamic and static water repellency, increased perspiration resistance and high colourfastness properties.

According to Packer, the leather possesses extreme levels of breathability and enhanced moisture management properties. The leather has also been developed to allow rapid drying whatever the weather conditions, including high humidity. It is the toughest leather in its category.

The leather has been approved for use by major NATO forces and, in recent times, Special Forces have chosen this leather as the main component for an ultra-lightweight boot for special missions. In addition to all the other advantages Defender & Kombat offers, the leather has a special soft tannage which means that the boots require little, if any, breaking in nor will they harden with perspiration.

Their Kool leather was tested by constructing a motorcycle jacket, half made from traditionally finished leather and half with Kool technology. This was then subjected to direct midday sunlight (with an ambient air temperature of 34°C) for a 30-minute period and then a thermal image was taken.

This revealed a significant temperature difference between each side of the jacket meaning that Kool leather will greatly add to the comfort of the wearer. The technology will also prolong the life of the leather due to the reduced heat build-up, thereby reducing the effects of photo and thermal degradation over time.

Another such leather is Konstant, a thermo regulating leather, which incorporates Smart Fabric Technology by Outlast, micro-encapsulated Phase Change Materials originally developed for NASA. This perpetual technology is based on mPCMs called Thermocules that have a range of melting and crystallisation points. By changing the proportion of Thermocules, different phase change temperatures are possible since they can store energy when a person becomes warm and give the energy back as the person cools.

No matter how often the Thermocules undergo a solid to liquid phase change and reconversion, they never wear out. Konstant can be used for clothing and footwear, reducing overheating and sweat production and allowing the wearer to remain comfortable all day long.

EVO-CF was initially developed exclusively with Audi AG for the TT Roadster and utilises a chrome-free and heavy metal-free tannage in line with current automotive requirements. The aqueous finish is based around a hybrid system of high performance polyurethane and acrylic polymers. However, the finishing still allows the natural grain to be both seen and felt.

The Packer family has been associated with the Australian leather industry since 1891 and say their mission is to remain the leading Australian supplier of high quality leathers. Their strategy is to build long-term relationships with their customers and their suppliers and to listen to what their customers are saying so they can remedy any problems.