Tanning leather is an ancient art that has been practiced for centuries. It is a process that involves treating animal hides with chemicals to preserve them and make them suitable for use in clothing, furniture, and other items. The process begins with the selection of the hide, which is usually taken from cows, sheep, goats, or pigs. The hide is then soaked in a solution of water and salt to remove any dirt and debris. After this, the hide is placed in a vat of tannin, which is a chemical compound that helps to preserve the hide and make it more durable. The hide is then left to soak in the tannin for several days, during which time the tannin penetrates the hide and binds the proteins together. After this, the hide is removed from the vat and dried. Once dry, the hide is then treated with oils and waxes to make it more pliable and to give it a desired color. Finally, the hide is stretched and stitched together to create the desired product. Tanning leather is a time-consuming process, but the end result is a durable and attractive material that can be used for a variety of purposes.
Leather finishes are the final step in the leather tanning process and can be used to create a variety of looks and textures. The most common types of leather finishes are aniline, semi-aniline, pigmented, and nubuck. Aniline leather is the most natural looking and has a soft, supple feel. It is dyed with soluble dyes that penetrate the hide and allow the natural grain and markings to show through. Semi-aniline leather is a combination of aniline and pigmented leather. It is dyed with aniline dyes and then coated with a thin layer of pigment to provide a more uniform color and greater protection from stains and fading. Pigmented leather is the most durable and is coated with a thick layer of pigment to provide a uniform color and greater protection from stains and fading. Nubuck leather is a type of aniline leather that has been buffed to create a velvety texture. It is more susceptible to staining and fading than other types of leather, so it requires more care and maintenance.