The leather tanning process
The vegetable tanning
The vegetable tanning is the feather in our cap: the most traditional, natural and ecological hide processing handed down by skilled craftsmen. Since 1946, our tannery has combined its jealously guarded ancient recipes with technological innovation creating more and more sophisticated vegetable tanned leathers, meeting the demand of the fashion world, while preserving their characteristics. It is one of the most ancient tanning processes, as it was already used to make shoes and garments in the Egyptian and Roman ages. Today, it is still one of the preferred techniques of those who want to create an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic product, minimizing the impact on health and environment while manufacturing, recycling and managing the waste disposals. The very natural look and good scent of the finished product unveils its craftmade identity.
Since 1946, Conceria Ausonia has produced its "Vacchetta" item. The term refers to the vegetable tanning system typical of the Tuscan tradition: leather is fatliquored with a mixture of vegetable, animal and fish oils making the fiber firm, doughy and soft. It is used to manufacture leather goods and it is suitable to produce prized shoes, since they are eco-friendly and, therefore, healthier.
The chrome tanning
In 2013, upon request of our customers, we started to carry out a chrome tanning process on calfskins used to manufacture handbags, leather goods and footwear. Thanks to our well-experienced hide working, we created a multi-purpose, soft, and elastic leather appreciated by the brands for its natural look. Our manufacturing is completely compliant with the regulatory RSL - Restricted Substance List- framework. The chemicals used in the different processing steps are carefully checked pursuant to the REACH regulations that are at the basis of all our specifications.
Our tanning methods in figures
0YEARS OF TRADITION AND
OF PRODUCTION AREA
IN TWO PLANTS
0SQUARE METERS OF LEATHER
MANUFACTURED EVERY YEAR
Technology and machinery
We carry out the complete leather tanning process: we buy rawhides and split them in double butts, shoulders and bellies, or half calves. Starting from the salted hides we produce finished leather for our customers. The tanning method of Conceria Ausonia is genuine: our well-experience and know-how are combined with the cutting-edge technology of the tanning industry. The entire production process is a complex sequence of operations where the staff ability is boosted by the most evolved and up-to-date systems that has always represented our constant strive for innovation over the years. The working formula of each project is carefully defined according to the creation that the stylist and the designer want to achieve: bags, shoes or piece of furniture. A winning solution that leads to a collection consisting of special products appreciated and used in all the different worldwide markets.
Expertise in leather processing
Commitment, creativity and expertise have made Conceria Ausonia an international reference point in the processing of leathers for bags, belts, small leather goods and pieces of furniture. Our constant technological innovation -together with our ability to anticipate the new fashion trends, and our expertise to fulfil the requirements of architects, stylists and designers- allowed us to stand out from our competitors. Our tannery collaborates with leading research centers always striving to innovate and developing our products through a persistent improvement of the leather tanning, dyeing and finishing techniques to ensure the resistance and durability of our products.
Leather production steps
We carry out the complete production cycle in our plants. This ensures the highest control level.
TRIMMING, BEAMHOUSING AND LIMING WORKS, FLESHING, AND SPLITTING
In the first pre-tanning step, the hides coming from the slaughterhouses, are divided into parts (shoulder, belly and double butt) and undergone to soaking, the treatment to restore the hide skinning conditions, to liming and unhairing to complete the hair and epidermis removal. Finally, the tissues are relaxed to better absorb the tanning products. Afterwards, they are fleshed to remove any meat and fat residues, and split to the right thickness of the article to produce.
DELIMING, MACERATION, PICKLING, AND TANNING
In this phase the dermis is relaxed and its pH is reduced to the proper value for tanning -the process to preserve the dermal tissue from degradation and to improve its resistance to moisture and temperature. The tanning agents can be either vegetable (tannins extracted from plants) and mineral (chrome, aluminum, etc.).
UNHAIRING, SELECTION, RETANNING, DYEING, AND FATLIQUORING
After tanning, the hides are pressed in a system of revolving cylinders, split, or unhaired, to make them uniform, and to prepare them for the next step. Then, they are selected by quality. Retanning expects further tanning treatments, and then they are dyed of the required colour, and fatliquored to achieve the foreseen softness and waterproof features as well as to improve their mechanical properties. Fatliquoring can be carried out either through animal- sea-animal or vegetable oils and greases, or through synthetic or mineral oils.
DRYING, STAKING, SELECTION
Drying is carried out through mechanical operations (sammying, hot-rolling, vacuum-drying) and, subsequently, dried by suspension hanging them on a chain to be exposed to forced air ventilation. After this treatment the hides are softened through a staking machine that presses them hardly to make them smooth and more flexible. Now the hides (in jargon called crust) are ready for a new selection by quality, thickness and peculiarity required by the customers. The selected hides are ready for the last step: finishing.
FINISHING AND PARAMETERS CONTROLS
Finishing improves the leather look and protects its surface: this operation consists of different mechanical and chemical processes able to ameliorate the leather look. Usually the grain is treated with several machinery, anilines, polymeric resins, caseins, waxes, pigments and dyes to accurately impart the desired colour, to cover the defects, to improve gloss, texture, and many other features. We also perform tensile strength test agreed with the customer.
Quality and reliability are the grounding values of the customer culture. For this reason, the complete production process is exclusively carried out in our plants. Customer culture means to enhance ideas and research to ensure the creation of the proper product for each project -even the most challenging one. Our earnest and persisting exchange of views with our customers in a partnership spirit is rewarded by the long-lasting bond with important companies, mainly of the luxury industry.
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