Perhaps you’re new to leather buying, or maybe you’ve purchased dozens of hides in the past. Whatever your background, you may wonder what happens to the hides before we sell them to you. Here’s a background on some of our leather tanning and finishing processes before shipping to our warehouse in L.A.!
Soaking, Pressing and Splitting
The hides should be as clean and flat as possible. The first step involves soaking the hides to eliminate dirt and folds. Next, we stretch the hides to help get rid of the extra water. Splitting occurs after that — we remove the outer part of the hide, also called the grain, from the lower, or split.
Shaving, Trimming, and Dyeing
The entire hide gets shaved to the same thickness. Then, we divide the hide and trim it down. We dye the hide the selected color, which helps loosen and soften it.
Drying and Staking
Once again, we remove the excess water from the hide, then suspend it on a conveyor to further condition the leather. Staking softens the hide, even more, using a mechanical beater.
Buffing, Finishing, and Ironing
Buffing employs special paper to rub against the surface to get just the right sheen on the hide. A mechanical beater once more pummels the hide, then we finish it to ensure it has the right texture, color, and softness. To amp up the shine, we iron the hide, as well.
Trimming Once Again, Measuring and Storing
We trim once more to make the hide have uniform edges. Then we perform tests to ensure the hides stand up to our rigorous standards, and we check the hide against our internal specifications. We use electronic equipment to measure the hides and get them ready for customers. We hit the final step, storage, with a high-quality hide that will stand up to whatever your needs may be.
Currently, United Leather has partner tanneries in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Italy. Have any questions about our process? You can reach out to us and we’ll answer them as quickly as possible. We encourage you to shop our vast selection of hides to find the ones that appeal to you and your next project.