Fleshing - Making of leather

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When fleshing, connective tissue and meat residue are removed from the flesh side of the skin. In the past, special tools were used by the tanner. Nowadays this stage is done with rotating scraping rolls. The average weight of a defleshed 4,5 m² big cowhide is approx. 25 kilos.

If you want to remove the skin of an animal yourself, you have to work carefully. Especially if you want to get a complete hide with head, limbs and tail. Without expert advice, it's unlikely that you will get ears, nose or tail undamaged during the first attempt.

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The raw skin is removed from the slaughter. This step can damage the skin.



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The process of fleshing by hand tools.


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Tanner with traditional fleshing tools, picture D. Albert, Horb 2006. - Fleshing, historical picture.


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The machine fleshing in a tannery by sharp knife rollers.



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When the hair is scraped off, a tick sometimes appears.


Video about the leather production

The leather production in a modern tannery.

Process steps in the leather production
storage - soaking - liming - fleshing - splitting - pickling - tanning - neutralising - withering - sorting - shaving - dyeing (through colouring) and fatliquoring - drying - finish - softening - final check

Tanning methods
Chrome tanning - Vegetable-tanned leather - Synthetic tanning - Tanning with fats and oils