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Environmental Friendly Tanning Process: Vegetable Tanning
Environmental Friendly Tanning Process: Vegetable Tanning

Vegetable tanning is a process that involves treating animal hides with tannins derived from plants and trees. This method is old and used for thousands of years for tannery process. Tannery process has great environmental concerned through proper disposal of waste material. Tanning of animal skinks and their hairs creates too much organic waste that may be causes serious environmental pollution. The waste of tannery process should always be wasted through Incineration approved from government Agency. Here are some key points about vegetable tanning

History

 Tanning has been done for thousands of years, with evidence of leather production dating back to ancient civilizations such as Mehrgarh in Pakistan (7000-3300 BCE) and Sumer in Mesopotamia (around 2500 BCE).

Preparation

 Animal hides are obtained and cured with salt to prevent decay and bacterial growth.

The hides are then soaked in water to remove salt and increase moisture.

Tannery Process

 The hides are treated with milk of lime (a basic agent) to remove hair and other keratinous matter, swell and split fibers, remove natural grease and fats, and prepare the collagen for tanning.

The pH of the collagen is then reduced, and enzymes may be applied to soften the hides (bating).

The hides are pickled in a bath containing vegetable tannins, such as those found in gallnuts, sumac leaves, or acacia trees.

Characteristics

Vegetable-tanned leather develops a patina over time and has a longer lifespan than chrome-tanned leather.

It is breathable, and products made with it become more comfortable with use.

The process uses organic materials and natural tannins, resulting in rich, earthy tones and a distinctive sweet fragrance.

Products

 Vegetable-tanned leather is often used for high-end products like saddles, holsters, belts, wallets, bags, shoes, and purses.

 It is stiff initially but becomes more supple with time and use.

Advantages

 Vegetable tanning produces sturdy leather suitable for products requiring less pliability.

It allows for complicate tooling and is used for upholstery due to its availability in whole hides.

Disadvantages

The process requires heavy water usage and takes around two months, making it more time-consuming than chrome tanning.

The cost is higher due to specialized labor, longer tanning periods, and less automation.

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