Rawhide dealers - Skin collectors

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Rawhide dealers - Skin collectors

A slaughterhouse slaughters animals of every kind and age, resulting in a wide variety of rawhides. Tanneries specialise in certain types of leather. Slaughterhouses and tanneries also have different capacities.

In most cases, the skins do not go directly from the slaughterhouse to the tannery. Rawhide dealers or skin collectors buy the hides, sort them by species, sex (the car industry uses exclusively bull skins) and weight (affects the size of the skin). They then cut the edges of the rawhides and skins and preserve them.

Tanners often buy from multiple rawhide dealers at the same time. 10-20 rawhide dealers for a tannery is not uncommon.

However, larger tanneries also buy directly from slaughterhouses and process the raw material fresh without intermediate preservation.

Decades ago, local slaughterhouses and butchers performed these tasks. Today however, the meat industry is dominated by large farms. Due to the size of these farms and the greater demand for hides by the growing car industry, rawhide dealers and agro companies are in a much stronger position.

Raw material prices are rising steadily, and the tanneries and leather traders are constantly faced with a constant dilemma of whether to pass these cost increases to their buyers or not. If prices rise too much, manufacturers can switch to substitute materials, such as fabrics or synthetic leather. According to statements of leather experts, for the tanner (the buyer) the costs of raw materials are the largest single cost and historically estimated between 30-50% of the total costs.

The quality of the hides can vary depending on the bovine species, origin (a rule of thumb is that hides from above the 37th parallel are of better quality), sex, age, nutrition and type of livestock farming. Tanneries put in a great deal of effort to secure supplier sources, which deliver consistently good quality. Leather with bad characteristics or many skin damages can quickly add to wastage and reduce the number of sellable stock for dealers.


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The unfulfillable desire of every tannery are Rawhides without natural markings.


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