Leather tanning is a process used to preserve animal skin and prepare the material for other productions by stabilizing its structure. It happens right after the hides come out of the beam house.
There are multiple different steps in this complex series of treatments that will make the leather durable and beautiful.
THE PROCESS STEPS
The hides are washed in water to remove impurities, folds, and the salt that was previously applied at the beamhouse to prevent bacteria growth. Soaking also moisturizes the hides so that they can be further treated.
Excess water is eliminated and the hide is stretched
As the hides are quite thick , they are divided into two layers: the grain split – the top layer of the hide – is mechanically separated from the flesh split. Both layers will be used for different purposes: the outer skin layer will make smooth leather while the underside is usually used to produce suede.
The leather is shaved down by a machine to achieve a uniform thickness.
Cutting, selecting and dividing the hide
This is the most important part of the tanning process that gives leather its special properties. Dyeing increases penetration of the tanning solution, replenishes oils in the hides, and finally imparts softness, color, and stability (storage life) to the leather.
Removing the water via vacuum suction using special equipment made of steel plates
Conditioning the leather by suspending it from an overhead conveyor at ambient temperature
The leather is softened and its hand (feel and texture) is improved. It involves flexing the leather, either by hand or a machine.
#10 Buffing and Fulling
Leather is softened in an abrasive drum to remove imperfections before a pigmented finish is applied.
With Nubuck and Suede, buffing is done to achieve the classic velvety look.
Treatment to give the desired shine, color and appearance
This helps smoothen the leather or make it shinier.
Ensuring that the finished product has regular edges
#14 Selecting, Quality Control, and Testing
Every batch is carefully inspected for color match, size, thickness, texture, or defects. Physical and chemical tests are also carried out to international standards. We always make sure to meet the customers' specifications.
Every piece of leather is run through a machine which accurately measures its surface. Then, the finished materials are stored or packed for shipping to the final destination.