Leather processing has ancient origins; prehistoric man used them as clothing obtaining them from the animals that ate.
Since leather was not processed, the cloths were not durable due to decomposition. To solve this problem, they started to adopt the drying technique, which prevented the decomposition, but made the leather stiff;
One of these consisted of immersing the garment in a liquid composed of water and plant material such as leaves and berries, which, through a series of active ingredients called ” Tannins ”, made the leather soft and prevented it from rotting.
Thanks to these early forms of tanning, the skin became part not only of the most common clothes, but also accessories.
The first real tanneries, however, have their origins in medieval age; these arose in wooded areas rich in watercourses, the perfect environment for cattle and growth of raw materials needed.
It is important to know that the processes used in today’s tanneries are the result of discoveries made millions of years ago, which made the leather the most common ancient material.
Below, the process of tanning: first, the leather is rapidly removed from the carcass of the animal, to prevent the damaged caused by the blood. Later, since the decomposition begins quickly and the tanning places are often away, the leather receive many physical and chemical treatments of conservation.
Here are some examples of conservation treatments used today:
– Chilling: it consists in freezing the leather just extracted from the carcass in special refrigerators
– Drying: the natural drying of the skin by exposure to the sun on stone plates
– Brining: leather is initially immerse in a saline solution and moved until it absorbs the liquid, then dried
– Wet salting: the leather is stretched one over the other between layers of salt to kill the bacteria
Sometimes it does not kill them all leading to the creation of red spots of different dimension.