what is a Leather Tanning ?

what is a Leather Tanning ?

Leather is a versatile and durable material that has been used for centuries in various applications, from clothing to furniture. But have you ever wondered how leather is made? The process of turning raw animal hides into leather is known as tanning. In this blog post, we will explore what leather tanning is and how it works.

What is Leather Tanning?

Leather tanning is the process of treating animal hides to transform them into a durable and flexible material called leather. Tanning prevents the decay of animal hides and makes them suitable for various applications. The tanning process involves several steps that remove unwanted materials from the hides and replace them with tanning agents.

How Does Leather Tanning Work?

The leather tanning process can be divided into three main stages: preparation, tanning, and finishing.

1. Preparation

In the preparation stage, the raw animal hides are cleaned and soaked to remove any dirt, blood, or flesh. This step is crucial to ensure that the hides are free from impurities that could affect the quality of the leather. After cleaning, the hides are soaked in water to make them more pliable and ready for the tanning process.

2. Tanning

The tanning stage is where the actual transformation of the hides into leather occurs. There are two main methods of tanning: vegetable tanning and chrome tanning.

Vegetable tanning involves using natural tannins found in plants, such as tree barks, to tan the hides. This method is known for producing high-quality, durable leather with a natural look and feel. Vegetable tanning is a time-consuming process that can take several weeks to complete.

On the other hand, chrome tanning is a faster and more efficient method that uses chromium salts to tan the hides. This method is widely used in the leather industry due to its speed and ability to produce a wide range of leather types. However, chrome tanning is often criticized for its environmental impact.

3. Finishing

The finishing stage is where the leather is treated to enhance its appearance and performance. This can involve processes such as dyeing, buffing, and applying a protective coating. Finishing gives leather its desired color, texture, and durability.


Leather tanning is a complex process that transforms raw animal hides into the versatile material we know as leather. Whether it's vegetable tanning or chrome tanning, each method has its own advantages and considerations. Understanding the tanning process can help us appreciate the craftsmanship and skill that goes into creating high-quality leather products.

Back to blog