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Stages in the Leather Tanning Process.

The process from when you get a sheet of animal skin until it can be called leather and comes into the hands of a producer is extremely long and laborious.


Various processes are carried out in the treatment of the skin to give it the finish that we all know and finally be able to start making products with what can already be called leather; these tasks can be divided into Ribera, Tanning, Post-tanning and Finishing.



Below we will detail each of these, including the tasks of each group. 


In this part all unwanted components are removed from the skin and the entire sheet is given a correct thickness for further treatment. 

Processes within the Ribera Phase.


Pots, pinwheels or soaking pits are used to soak the skin in water and/or detergents. The intensity of this soak will depend on whether the skin has been preserved fresh, that is without a previous treatment or if on the contrary it has been applied salt to delay its conservation, which will involve a more exhaustive soak. 


The roots of the animal’s hair is something that commonly comes with skin, at this stage the mission is to remove all those roots with the help of sodium sulfide lime. 


Stage that aims to impregnate the skin with alkaline product and water to create a homogeneous layer on it. 

"Skin is one of the materials that most requires procedures until it can be called leather"

Jorge Martínez.



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All the natural fat that has the animal skin must be eliminated in this phase, to give as a result a uniform and clean skin, all this is achieved by means of a machine decarbonizer.



In order to control the thickness of the skin layers, a machine with a cutting tape divides these layers. 


Through the addition of different chemicals, at that stage what is sought is to stabilize the skin, so that subsequently the products that will be added to change its properties (color, brightness, texture, etc.) easily penetrate, this is achieved, partly by adjusting the pH and collagen of the skin.

Processes within the Tanning Phase.


The skins are deflated, the pH is adjusted and all the lime that has been applied to remove the root of the hair is removed (peeling process). 



The skins are deflated, the pH is adjusted and all the lime that has been applied to remove the root of the hair is removed (peeling process). 



Two objectives can be achieved in this process. The first is the obtaining of the skin already clean to be able to be preserved and the second is to finish adjusting the pH for subsequent tanning processes. 


Being strengthens collagen fiber in the skin, at this stage may add chromium salts or vegetable tannins. 

Post Tanned.

Thickness, elasticity and texture are the objectives to achieve within this phase. 

Processes within the Post Tanned Phase.


It is the final stage concerning the rebate, that is to say the thickness is obtained


Helps in the task of lowering the leather to its final thickness.


It allows recurtients and dyes to penetrate the skin regularly and without overloads.


They reinforce tanning processes in which certain characteristics could not be reached, at this stage it is finally achieved. 


The desired color is added to the skin. 


They grease the skins to give them greater elasticity while preventing them from sticking with each other.


Removes all unnecessary moisture in the leather.


Through various chemicals the leather is given the final appearance on its surface.

Processes within the Finishing Phase.


Pressure and temperature are applied to the leather to compact it and obtain a smooth, fine and resistant flower. 

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