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From raw hide to leather

Simply put, leather is tanned hide (skin), which is treated so that its natural strength and elasticity are preserved. Tanning yields a material that is durable, while being pliable and having a natural ability to breathe. Leather possesses the remarkable property of becoming more beautiful with time. It is one of the few materials in the fashion industry for which fragrance is an essential part of the quality experience. It is no wonder that we like what we do. What we call hide is leather from smaller animals, such as goats, lambs, calves, or pigs. Both words mean more or less the same thing.

Full grain leather

The strongest and most durable part of an animal’s hide is just below the hair. The grain pattern in this part of the hide is very tight, and leather made from it is called "full-grain" leather.

Nubuk

Nubuck leather is easily sanded for a matted, smooth surface.

Nappa leather

This is the name for full-grain leather from smaller animals, such as lambs, kids or calves.

Embossed grain

Full grain leather that is embossed so that it has a pattern, such as alligator leather.

Split leather

The layer of the raw hide that is closest to the animal's body is generally called split. This is the layer that remains when the grain leather is separated from the raw hide.

Suede

When leather is roughened mechanically to a velvet-like texture, it is called suede.

Coated split

This is a process to give split leather a color or structure to resemble a grain leather.

Bonded leather

This is a leather in which left-over parts from other types of leather production are bound together to generate bigger pieces of leather.

The tanning process

Leather is tanned skin that has been treated to preserve its natural strength and elasticity.
The finished, treated material that we call leather has a natural ability to breath, and the extraordinary property to age with beauty. Within the fashion industry, leather is one of the few materials for which aroma is an essential part of the quality experience. We use three methods in our tanneries:

Vegetable tanning

This is the oldest tanning method and the most natural way to manufacture leather. The main advantage of vegetable tanning is that its environmental impact is lower than that of other methods. The tannins used for tanning are primarily extracted from chestnut trees and Argentinean quebracho trees. A disadvantage with this method is that clear, bright colors cannot be achieved, only deeper, warmer tones.

Synthetic tanning

Performed with metal (aluminum, zinc, iron, and titanium) but not with chromium. Aluminum whitens hide, which is why synthetically tanned leather is also called wet white. That said, the results are similar to those of chromium-tanned leather.

Chrome tanning

The most common tanning method worldwide, it is performed with chromium salts. The speed and cost effectiveness of this process are several of its advantages. Another benefit is its result, specifically a soft, stretchable, water-resistant leather that absorbs dye better than following other tanning methods, thus permitting the use of more colors. With the correct precautions, the chromium used in our tanneries is safe for employees to work with. Its incineration, however, has negative effects on the environment, which places demands on waste management – an area we’re improving continually as we work together with our suppliers.

Dyeing

Dyeing is done in tanneries. Different dyeing methods are used – depending on the desired look.

Aniline dyeing

Usually done in a water bath: dyes penetrate the pores, color the leather right through, and provide natural, varied finishes.

Semianiline dyeing

The leather is painted with a pigment or a top coat, which gives a more even color. Protective lacquer serves as a fixative.

Pigmented

Here, leather is painted with a pigment or a topcoat, which provides an even colour. Protective lacquer serves as a fixative.
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