Leather processing is a complex process that involves a variety of steps to transform raw hides into a usable material. The process begins with the selection of hides, which are then sorted and graded according to their quality. The hides are then soaked in a mixture of water and chemicals to remove any dirt, grease, and other impurities. After the hides have been soaked, they are then tanned, which involves the use of various chemicals to preserve the hides and make them more durable. The hides are then dried and stretched to the desired size and shape. The next step is to dye the leather, which can be done with a variety of dyes and pigments. The leather is then finished with a variety of treatments, such as oiling, waxing, and buffing, to give it a desired look and feel. Finally, the leather is cut and sewn into the desired product. Leather processing is a complex process that requires a great deal of skill and knowledge to produce a quality product.
Leather processing techniques vary depending on the type of leather being processed. Vegetable-tanned leather is the most traditional type of leather and is tanned using natural tannins found in tree bark, leaves, and other plant materials. This type of leather is usually used for saddles, belts, and other items that require a strong, durable finish. Chrome-tanned leather is tanned using chromium salts and is usually used for items that require a softer, more pliable finish. Oil-tanned leather is tanned using oils and waxes and is usually used for items that require a waterproof finish. Brain-tanned leather is tanned using the brains of animals and is usually used for items that require a soft, supple finish. Alum-tanned leather is tanned using aluminum salts and is usually used for items that require a stiffer, more durable finish. Lastly, synthetic-tanned leather is tanned using synthetic materials and is usually used for items that require a waterproof finish. Each type of leather processing technique has its own unique characteristics and is used for different types of leather products.