Hides arrive at the tannery and are stored in warehouse.They are packed in rock salt for preservation, stored for up to 30 days. When ready to be processed, desalting removes salt from the hides by tumbling and propelling the hides forward with a series of pegs. The skins are then placed in soaking drums for one to two days to rehydrate and remove dirt, salt, and some soluble proteins. At this point the excess hair and dirt is also removed and washed away.
Primary tanning converts pre-tanned hides into leather by preserving and halting the decomposition of the hide. There are three types of tanning commonly practised around the world. - Vegetable tannage is the conversion of rawhide into leather with vegetable tanning agents.The most commonly used vegetable materials are mimosa, chestnut, and bark. Chromium tannage is a synthetic tannage. - Leather tanned with chromium salts provides a soft, mellow suppleness of hand. -Combination tannage is a combination of chromium and vegetable tanning together resulting in a full bodied, soft and supple leather.
Retanning is then completed to modify the physical characteristics of the leather to suit its final use. Leather is re-tanned with chromium salts, vegetable matter, or a combination of the two, giving it a unique texture
Dyeing adds color to the leather. Tanneries are equipped with an assortment of dyes to color leather in a variety of neutrals to bright, saturated hues. The recipe for dyeing is formulated by computer to ensure color accuracy and consistency. The process is however lengthy and usually takes more than 8-10 hours for it to complete entirely. The hides are staked for softness after dyeing and vaporized to re-moisturize.
Finishing & Final Inspection
The last stage of the entire process of manufacturing leather is ofcourse the finishing. Here, the treated hides are subject to quality control, smoothening and softening, preservation and cosmetic modifications to ensure that the product reaches the superior standards that are mandated by Saddles India.
A variety of tests are also done to ensure high quality control. These tests include color, abrasion, fading, and dimensional stability. Once a hide has been tested, it is inspected to ensure it meets all of the intended quality specifications.