August 22, 2019

What is tanned leather and tanning technology?

Are you a fan of leather goods and always aspire to own genuine, quality and fashionable leather products? Or are you simply passionate about leather and want to learn about this material? You have heard a lot about the term “tanned leather” but do not understand it well? Let's learn this phrase with Ngoc Quang. 


What is tanned leather? Definition of tanned leather 

Leather is a durable and flexible material made through the tanning process of animal hides such as cowhide, buffalo, goat, lamb, deer, crocodile, ostrich, etc. Leather can be tanned by a variety of methods, from individual to industrial scale. The use of animal skins as a material in clothing has been around since ancient times and is very popular. Humans make many different products from leather including clothing, shoes, hats, wallets, belts, badges, book covers, parchment and home furnishings… 

What is tanned leather? Tanning stages? 

To create tanned leather, it is necessary to go through a preliminary processing stage to prepare the skin to be clean, soft, and easily permeable to chemicals or natural substances that will be used to turn the raw hide into leather for use in fashion, apparel, textiles wear and other industries. The hides are first carefully peeled from the flesh and fat, and then carefully graded according to skin type and quality. The leather is then soaked to shake off the dirt. Next, a type of lime is used to remove hair while removing some proteins and fibers in the skin and changing more or less the structure of the skin so that the skin will better absorb the chemicals that will be used in the process. Depending on the place of production, chemicals or natural extracts will be used to make the leather softer, more durable, waterproof, and keep it from rotting over time. Next, the leather is dried, oiled, dried, kneaded until soft and smooth, flattened, and dyed as needed. Depending on the place of manufacture, which determines the quality, longevity, and flexibility of the leather. 

Some common leather types and characteristics of cowhide that occupy most of the market today. Young calf leather has smooth grain, light weight, mainly for making high-class shoes and luxury purses and bags. Goat skin, whether old or young, is very smooth. Horse skin is often used to make shoes, leather jackets and sports equipment. Pig skin is obtained from mature pigs. Kangaroo skin – the most durable of all animal hides – is used in shoes and soccer bats. Crocodile skin is used to make shoes, bags, wallets and suitcases. 

Therefore: Tanning technology can process animal skins to become soft, durable and supple. Through a chemical (or natural) process, animal skins become  leather. 


Nowadays, what are the methods of tanning technology? 

1. Chromium-tanned leather: This method was invented in 1858, using Cr2(SO4)3 • 12(H2O) and other chromium types. This method produces a product that is softer, more flexible and does not lose color or shape like the Vegetable Tanning method. This method produces a blue product due to the presence of chromium and also produces many other colors. This method only takes about 1 day to complete thus making this method so popular. It is reported that this method accounts for 80% of the global supply. 

2. Vegetable-tanned leather 

3. Aldehyde-tanned leather 

4. Formaldehyde leather 

5. Brain tanned leathers 

6. Chamois leather 

7. Rose tanned leather 

8. Synthetic-tanned leather 

9. Alum-tanned leather 

10. Rawhide 


Tanned leather is a durable and flexible material that is intelligently processed through the tanning process of animal hides such as cowhide, calfskin, buffalo hide, goat skin, leather. sheep, crocodile skin ... but the most common is still cow skin. Leather can be produced by many different methods, on a large and small scale, from primitive to sophisticated. The use of animal skins as a material in clothing has been around since ancient times and is very popular. However, it is only when tanned leather appeared that leather became really popular.


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