From - The Leather Dictionary
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Rawhide and skins are delivered to the tannery and soaked in cold water. Soaking prepares the skin for the next steps. The tanner uses rotating barrels for this.

Dry skins are generally first soaked in a pit or in a rotating barrel. Chemicals, which accelerate the softening process, are added to the water - usually at about 10 to 20 ° C.

Task of the soaking

  • Restoration of the original water content before the preservation.
  • The restoration of the swelling as before the preservation.
  • Cleaning the skin of dirt, manure and blood.
  • Removal of preservatives and disinfectants, if any.

Video about 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 - fatliquoring - retanning - drying - finish - softening - final check

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