People often ask me why leather is a good material for armor. The thing a lot of people fail to realize is that leather armor has been used throughout most of history in conjunction with other materials or by itself.  I like to point out that we still have leather armor left over from Ancient Greece, and Rome.  Some of this armor is over 2000 years old.  So why work with leather?

One, leather is very abundant. Obviously every animal you kill produces some hide of varying thickness but just because it is abundant doesn't mean you're going to think to make armor out of it. Leather has the quality of being durable, and once they learned how to cure it, it lasted almost indefinitely.

Two, Leather is easier to work with than metal and wicker armor.  Wicker was popular in the Mediterranean around the same time the Greeks were using leather because leather can be molded and shaped making it formfitting and thereby not inhibiting the movements of the wearer.  It's also light so the wearer is not overly burdened by it.

Three, It absorbs and disburses the physical force of an attackers blow weather be blunt, or edged weaponry. The reason for this is that it's similar to an extremely dense sponge.  It cushions the hit and the energy is dispersed throughout the rest of the leather protecting the wearer.  For edged weaponry the leather, in addition to disbursing force, it also creates suction along the edge of the blade, increasing the difficulty of penetrating the armor. Ultimately the most important reason leather is an effective armor is that it greatly reduces the force of any attack it receives.  The thicker the leather, the better it distributes the energy that impacts it.

In conclusion, you can easily see why leather is so effective, and a preferred material throughout the ages, and why even today it has a place in theatre, historical reproductions, fencing, sparring, and any other use, apart from looking really really cool.