The Tanning Process

Tanning is the chemical process of turning a raw skin which is susceptible to bacterial degradation into a stable, durable product with thermal stability. Meaning it can be washed and dry cleaned and will not degrade over time. All our tanning involves leaving the hair or fur on. The process of tanning skins into leather with no hair is fundamentally different and is not something we specialize in.

The Tanning process we specialize in is similar for all animals in principle but differs in the way it is carried out depending on the type of animal and the desired finished product. It starts with soaking back the client’s skins in detergent, bactericide and other products. Then fleshing is carried out to remove all the meat and fat off the flesh side of the skin.
The skin is then scoured to remove inner greases, fats, dung, blood etc. Then it goes into what is known as a pickle solution which is acid and salt brine.This prepares the skin for the main tanning process which is next to occur.

The tanning process is where under the right conditions a chemical crosslinking of the collagen chains occurs and turns the raw skin into a thermal stable product. All tanning requires some chemicals to achieve this.

Some people claim their tanning is all natural products. In reality these so called natural or Eco products have been chemically formulated to ensure they are capable of tanning. Different chemicals give different tanning results. The chemicals we use are used in approx. 80% of the world’s leathers.

Depending on skin type they may go through some buffing or shaving processing before going through another oiling process to ensure once dried out the skins will soften up again.

The skins are then dried. They are softened through staking, tumbling, or buffing before the hair or fur is brushed, carded and ironed to ensure it stands up well and has good luster.

In our factory we have spent a considerable amount on making sure we have the best equipment for the job. This ensures that we give the client back their finished skin in a form they are very happy with and in a lot of cases exceeds their expectations.

Hi Adam Thanks a lot. I bought fur and leather from all over the world for this film (the Hobbit). The skins you sourced and tanned for us were consistently and by far the best. I will be in touch again. Thanks again Emily, Costume buyer, June 2012