Our process uses chrome which is the most widely used chemical for tanning.
1. We wet back/rehydrate the skins with a soap and bactericide as well as other chemicals to keep hair loss to a minimum. This process is done overnight but can be up to 2-3 days with thicker skins. This will bring the skins back to their original state as well as cleaning them.
2. The skins are then put into an acid bath to pickle them – they can effectively stay like that for 99 years provided the pH remains low. This process drops the pH as well as causing the skin to swell so all the extra flesh can be removed and the tanning chemicals can penetrate the skin. The skins stay about 2-4 days in this pickle.
3. The bigger skins are fleshed with a fleshing machine and the smaller ones are fleshed manually to remove all fat and excess flesh.
4. The skins are tanned overnight in a wet drum and then basified.
5. The skins are removed from the drum, horsed up and left overnight for chemical processes to take place and the big skins are fleshed again.
6. The skins are retanned.
7. They are then stretched/toggled. This means that they are stretched until dry so that they lie flat on the floor.
8. They are then tumbled in a big drum to soften them
9. The skins are buffed which is like a big sandpaper wheel which takes the roughness away so that the skin is smooth at the back.