Akram Tannery Kasur

What is tannery? A basic guide to tanning

A tannery is a manufacturing facility where animal hides and skins are processed and transformed into leather. Humans have been using leather for thousands of years, and they prize it for its toughness, adaptability, and durability. Animal skins are turned into a durable material that may be used to make a range of products, such as shoes, bags, belts, and coats, during the tanning process.

Evidence of tanning dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, demonstrating the age of the practice. The process of tanning, in its most basic form, entails soaking animal hides in a solution of tannins, which are substances that are present in a variety of plant materials, such as bark, leaves, and fruit. The collagen fibers in the hide are bound by the tannins, increasing the stability and decay resistance of the hide.

With the development of new methods and substances, tanning has changed over time to become a more effective and efficient process. Today, there are several methods of tanning, including vegetable tanning, chrome tanning, and synthetic tanning.

Tanning Procedure

Tanning is often divided into three stages named as pre tanning, tanning and post tanning, each entailing different procedure.


Pre-tanning refers to the series of steps that occur before the actual tanning process begins. It involves several stages that prepare the animal hides for tanning by removing unwanted materials, making the hides easier to work with, and allowing for better absorption of the tanning agents.

The first step in pre-tanning is curing the hides, which involves the use of salt to prevent bacterial growth and preserve the hides. 

 This procedure, which helps to protect the hides during travel and storage, can be carried out using dry salt or brine.

The hides are then rehydrated and any salt residue is washed away by soaking them in fresh water. This is a crucial step since dry skins are rigid and challenging to work with; by soaking them in water, they become more malleable and manageable.

The procedure of liming, which involves immersing the hides in a lime (calcium hydroxide) solution to remove flesh and hair, is done after soaking. The fibers in the hides are also helped to loosen by liming, which makes them simpler to split and work with later.

The hides are treated with enzymes during the bating process, which comes after liming, to encourage suppleness and flexibility. The leftover protein and fat in the hides are broken down in this process, making it easier to work with them during tanning.

The hides are mechanically separated into two layers to complete the process. In contrast to the bottom layer, which is split or suede leather, the top layer, sometimes referred to as the grain side, is the most desirable and is utilized to create high-quality leather goods.

Pre-tanning is an essential step in the production of leather because it gets the hides ready for tanning, which is what turns them into leather in the end. Pre-tanning helps to ensure that the leather produced is of excellent quality and suitable for use in a variety of items by eliminating undesirable elements and making the hides more malleable.


Tanning is the process of transforming animal hides or skins into leather, a durable and versatile material. The tanning process involves treating the hides with chemicals to make them more resistant to decay, stronger and suitable for use in a variety of leather products such as shoes, bags, belts, and jackets.

Vegetable tanning, chromium tanning, and synthetic tanning are just a few tanning techniques. The approach taken depends on the goal and the kind of leather product being created. In every case, the objective is to protect the skins and turn them into a robust, elastic, and long-lasting material that may be utilized for a variety of applications.

leather products

Natural tannins derived from plants, such as their bark, leaves, and fruits, are used in the traditional process of vegetable tanning. The skins are immersed in a tannin solution, which binds to the collagen fibers and increases the stability and decay resistance of the hides. Although vegetable tanning can take several months, the result is leather that is robust, resilient, and has a distinctive personality.

Using chromium salts to tan the skins is known as chrome tanning in modern times. The method creates leather that is supple, flexible, and water-resistant and is quicker and more effective than vegetable tanning. Chrome tanning, however, can be environmentally damaging if improperly managed because it generates toxic waste that needs to be disposed of carefully.

A more recent technique for tanning hides involves using synthetic chemicals. This process is frequently used to create leather for commercial uses, including furniture and automotive interiors. While synthetic tanning is quicker and more reliable than vegetable or chrome tanning, the leather it creates lacks some of the inherent characteristics of leather that has been traditionally tanned.

Whatever tanning technique is employed, there are usually multiple steps in the procedure. The hides are immersed in a solution of the tanning agent, which can be natural or synthetic, after they have been prepared through pre-tanning, and they are given time to absorb the substance. The hides are then cleaned, dried, and put through other steps to get the thickness and finish that are wanted.

To sum up, tanning is the process of converting animal skins or hides into leather by utilizing a variety of chemical agents. The process of tanning increases the skins’ toughness, pliability, and decay resistance, enabling their use in a range of leather goods. Leather can be manufactured using both conventional and contemporary tanning techniques to meet a range of requirements and applications.


Following the actual tanning of animal hides or skins, post-tanning is the last step in the production of leather. During this stage, the leather is improved in terms of look, texture, and durability so that it can be used for a variety of commercial and industrial applications.

The leather must be dried as the first post-tanning stage. Depending on the particular type of leather and the intended application, either naturally occurring processes or mechanical ones are used to accomplish this. After drying, the leather is examined for any flaws and imperfections that might have appeared.

vegetable leather

The leather is then treated with oils and waxes to boost lubrication and durability. Future cracking and damage to the leather are reduced thanks to this procedure. Other treatments, such as buffing, polishing, or sanding, may also be used, depending on the type of leather and the desired finish.

Another crucial component of post-tanning is coloring. From natural earth tones to vivid and bold colors, a variety of dyeing procedures are employed to generate a range of colors and finishes. While embossing can be used to provide leather texture and design to embossed leathers, setting aids in removing creases and wrinkles that might have formed during the tanning process.

The leather is measured, cut, and sewed into final products like shoes, purses, belts, and other leather goods after it has been treated and finished to the necessary requirements. Depending on the final product’s intended function, the leather is typically cut to specified sizes and thicknesses.

In conclusion, post-tanning, the last step in the creation of leather, entails a number of procedures designed to improve the leather’s appearance, texture, and durability. The leather is improved by the use of oils, waxes, dyes, and other treatments to satisfy the requirements of both merchants and customers. Producing high-quality leather goods fit for use in a range of applications requires post-tanning.

Tanning is an essential part of leather manufacturing. The tanning process defines the leathers quality, thickness, color and durability of the leather quality thus impacting the price tag of leather. With ever increasing demand of leather products, Akram tannery will continue to provide customers with quality leather.