How to turn raw hide
into beautiful leather: Preparation
Numerous changes have occurred from the beginning of Nineteenth century in tanning process, changes that have greatly reduced polluting chemicals and introduced new methods of tanning and finishing. On the other side, in Italy, thanks to stringent standards in food industry and leather production, every batch of hides is marked with a unique number so that it’s possible to track the origin of every single hide that passes through the tanning process. Leather, in fact, is a by-product of food industry so that the raw material strictly depends on the natural condition in which animals live.
The raw material is the starting point of the leather making process and its conservation is a fundamental step to obtain the best quality leather:
- · Skins are salted with ordinary sea salt in order to remove as much water as possible from the hide with the purpose of stopping the natural skin degradation.
- · Freezing is another type of treatment. It consists of cooling the raw hide at very low temperature, but it’s not so used at all in Italy.
After salty process, hides are folded and stored for up to 30 days.
The process of
making leather: Tanning
Convert hide into leather by soaking in liquid. Tanning process hides become leather through three different steps as follows:
· Soaking: hides are placed into tanning drums full of water
from several hours to several days. Water and surface-active medium help
removing salt and dirt, while vegetables tanning agents preserve the leather as
well as soften it.
IMPORTANT: In the United States and Europe tanneries are required to process and treat the water used in tanning, it is completely filtered and purified.
· Leather flashing and unhairing: under skin fat material is removed as well as most of the hair thanks to a lime treatment. After that hides are taken through the splitting machine and are sliced into two layers: bottom portion and upper portion. The first one is used for lower grade leathers, while the last one is utilized for high quality full grain leathers.
· Tanning process: it converts rawhide into leather. It can be made using natural or chemical substances. Vegetable tanning is an centuries old leather making process that utilizes vegetable materials such as mimosa, chestnut, and bark. Synthetic tanning uses Chromium, while another possibility is the combination of both processes to obtain a soft and flexible leather.
· Sammying (evenly moisturising) machine: two rollers apply high pressure to the hides to remove excess moisture. After that operators inspect hides are inspected to grade them according to their natural qualities and imperfections.
· Drying: this can be done in ways, all of them depending on the moisture level: vacuum dried, oven dried, or air-dried.
· Dyeing: It takes long period process in which skins are placed into the dye drums for several hours (days) and a cutting is taken to be sure that 100% of the dye has saturated the hides.
Now your new leather is ready to be used for manufacturing of our Beautiful designs by “Lusia’ of fashion jackets, handbags and other genuine Italian leather products all made in Italy by Italian craftsmen.
Enjoy our product for many years.
For the Love of Leather!