The art of choosing the right hide for the right leather.
During our production process, at three separate occasions, the hides are graded into different categories according to their natural surface marks. These determine whether the hides should become aniline, semi-aniline or technical leather.
Naked aniline leather is only given a light surface coating for protection. Semi-aniline leather is a successful compromise that combines a natural finish with comfort and durability. Technical leather must withstand tough wear strong light, and must be easy to clean. Extra surface treatment and pigmented finishes cover most of the leather’s natural structure.
Three leather types. Three characteristics.
ANILINE LEATHER. More beautiful with age
Aniline Leather is dyed through and given only a light surface protection. This allows the leather to breathe, and leaves it extremely comfortable and soft. Aniline leather ages very gracefully. A frequently used sofa in aniline leather acquires its own patina over the years. As with all delicate materials, this natural surface is sensitive and needs careful maintenance.
Our manufacturing of aniline leather requires highly specialized knowledge of tanning, dyeing, sorting and processing. The same level of expertise is required of the furniture manufacturer, who has to select the right leather for each individual furniture model and the right part of the hide for each part of the furniture.
SEMI-ANILINE LEATHER. Soft and supple.
The majority of our hides are made into semi-aniline leather. After being dyed-through, they are given a light pigmented coating that makes the leather more durable and easier to care for. Our careful dyeing and surface finishing methods ensure that the leather maintains a natural, comfortable touch while making it more resistant to wear and tear, whether it is destined for public or private use. It is easy to clean, and does not age as visibly as aniline leather.
TECHNICAL LEATHER. Leather for extreme environments.
Technical leather undergoes the same processes as aniline and semi-aniline leather, but is given additional pigmented finishing and other treatments to meet the standards of the automotive and aviation industries. As a result, technical leather lacks some structure of the natural hide. It is extremely tough, durable and easy to clean and maintain.
Through-dyeing and light surface treatment.
Through-dyeing and light pigmented finish.
Through-dyeing, pigmented finish and additional surface treatment.
From raw hide to leather in 30 days
The following pictures show a small selection of pictures from our production. The pictures appear in chronological order, but do not show the whole production process.
- Raw hide
- After liming and tanning
- After re-tanning and dyeing
- Finished aniline leather
- Finished semi-aniline leather
- Finished technical leather
Brief outline of leather production. For a better understanding of what happens at the various stages, compare the numbers with the samples to the right.
The wet part of the tanning process
We use the world’s finest raw material; bovine hides from Scandinavia. The hides weigh over 25 kg each, and are salted before delivery to protect them from damage during transit and storage.
Tanning is the process used to preserve the hides. Prior to tanning, the hides are prepared through processes known as soaking, liming and fleshing.
The tanning process takes approximately 48 hours.
Once tanned, the hides are graded into various categories. This process is known as wet blue sorting. All hides are light blue or cream colored at this stage.
Experienced graders perform a visual inspection of hides. This vital initial grading process determines which hides are allocated to become aniline, semi-aniline, or technical leather. Only 100% flawless hides are approved for aniline leather, because of the characteristic nakedness of this leather.
The two graders use a special sign language to show their chosen grade for each individual hide, and the lowest grade “wins”. This reduces the risks of overrating the hides
After being sorted, trimmed and inspected, the hides pass to the next stage.
The hides, which are approximately 4 mm thick, have now been split into two layers and shaved to the required thickness. The grain side of the hides are now re-tanned and dyed. All hides are dyed through and are given their final basic color at this stage. The lower part of the hide (called the split) is not used in our production, but sold to manufacturers of leather for shoes and small leather goods.
The dry part of the tanning process
The hides are stretched and dried in various ways, depending on the end product.
After tanning, base dyeing, and drying, the hides undergo a second grading process to determine which should be made into aniline, semi-aniline and technical leather.
At the finishing department, the leather is milled and given its correct final shade and softness. Technical leather is also embossed (given its surface and structure). Here, solid know-how and sensitive hands and eyes combine with the latest technology.