He disposes of a large variety of techniques and processes that will allow him to obtain different finished leather.
It is an art that relies on experimented savoir-faire associated with modern techniques.
The tanner will give the leather its characteristics:
The average total duration of transforming skin to leather is approximately 4 or 5 weeks.
It is just AVERAGE!
For example, calfskin is not naturally flexible.
But the tanner gives the leather its characteristics depending on the transformation processes used.
He, of course, relies on the specific structure of the skins chosen - in general, the idea that we have about the animal gives us good indications about its skin’s characteristics- for obtaining leathers that respect the client’s expectations and use.
A beauty of a beast!
But not necessarily adapted for a ballerina shoe!
We have seen that depending on the hide or the skin used but also depending on the result wanted, the techniques and processes are not the same.
Though it is possible to cut the transformation from hides to leather into 4 essential phases.
- the beamhouse: the cleaning of the skin
- the tanning: transforming a putrescible material ( the skin) into a durable material (the leather)
- the corroyage: gives the leathers the wanted properties (solidity, flexibility, etc…) and a base colour
- the finish: gives the leather its final aspect (colour, relief, brightness, etc.) and its surface property ( protection, etc…)
Except for the mechanical work, sorting, and finish phases - that are made in a dry environment - all of the others will take place in a tank filled with a lot of other substances but mainly water.