LEATHER MANUFACTURING PROCESS
Leather PRODUCTs are the all-time favorite running items of ladies and gents as well as kids. Jackets and other leather products are signs of versatility and grace. They are also known as the symbol of style.
There are many ‘integrated’ factories, where leather hides are tanned, dyed and processed into garments. The hides that are used come from cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep skins. The following are the steps that leather hides go through before the artisans develop them into handcrafted products like jackets, gloves, boots, etc.
1) Wet Blue Process:
The animal hides collected from slaughterhouses are transformed into leather in the so-called ‘wet-blue’ process. Large wooden drums are filled with water and the chemical chromium, a salt compound from the metal chrome. These drums spin for a period of two to 24 hours.
2) The Rinsing, Drying and Stretching Process:
When the hides come out of the drums, they are wet and blue, hence the name ‘wet-blue’. The hides are drained, rinsed and dried and, in some cases, stretched. Then they are prepared for the dying process. Before that the hides are ‘shaved’ in a machine to even out the thickness.
3) The Crust Leather:
The hides are painted and oiled to lubricate the leather. The leather is then dried, which results in a tradable, intermediate product called ‘crust leather’. A proportion of this crust leather is ready to be exported.
4) The Dry Finishing Process:
The leather left will be processed in Pakistan and turned into end products. To turn the leather into garments, it goes through a process of ‘dry finishing’ in which the appearance and properties for end use are improved. This can involve the application of a surface coat, and mechanical processes like polishing, dedusting and flattening.