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Home > News > Industry News > Leather production processes

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Leather production processes

  • Author:Cara
  • Source:www.walletamazon.com
  • Release on :2017-04-13
The leather manufacturing process is divided into three fundamental subprocesses: preparatory stages, tanning, and crusting. All true leathers undergo these subprocesses. A further subprocess, surface coating, can be added into the leather process sequence, but not all leathers receive surface treatment. Since many types of leather exist, it is difficult to create a list of operations that all leathers must undergo.

The preparatory stages are when the hide/skin is prepared for tanning. Preparatory stages may include: preservation, soaking, liming, unhairing, fleshing, splitting, reliming, deliming, bating, degreasing, frizing, bleaching, pickling, and depickling.

Tanning is a process that stabilizes the protein of the raw hide or skin so it does not putrefy, making it suitable for a wide variety of end applications. The principal difference between raw and tanned hides is that raw hides dry out to form a hard, inflexible material that, when rewetted (or wetted-back) putrefy, while tanned material dries to a flexible form that does not become putrid when wetted-back.

Many tanning methods and materials exist. The choice ultimately depends on the end application for the leather. The most common tanning material is chromium, which leaves the tanned leather a pale blue color (due to the chromium). This product is commonly called wet blue. The hides, when finished pickling, are typically between pH 2.8 and 3.2. At this point, tannery workers load the hides into a drum and immerse them in a float that contains the tanning liquor. The hides soak while the drum slowly rotates about its axis, and the tanning liquor slowly penetrates through the full thickness of the hide. Workers periodically cut a cross-section of a hide and observe the degree of penetration. Once the process achieves even penetration, workers slowly raise the float's pH in a process called basification, which fixes the tanning material to the leather—and the more tanning material fixed, the higher the leather's hydrothermal stability and shrinkage temperature resistance. Chrome-tanned leather pH is typically between pH 3.8 and 4.2.

Crusting is a process that thins, retans, and lubricates leather. It often includes a coloring operation. Chemicals added during crusting must be fixed in place. Crusting culminates with a drying and softening operation, and may include:
Sammying
Splitting
Shaving
Rechroming
Neutralization
Retanning
Dyeing
Fatliquoring
Filling
Stuffing
Stripping
Whitening
Fixating
Setting
Drying
Conditioning
Milling
Staking
Buffing

For some leathers, workers apply a surface coating. Tanners call this finishing. Finishing operations can include:
Oiling
Brushing
Padding
Impregnation
Buffing
Spraying
Roller coating
Curtain coating
Polishing
Plating
embossing
Ironing, ironing-combing (for hair-on)
Glazing
tumbling