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Understanding the Leather Tanning Process at Crest

The process of leather tanning is a very intricate. It begins with cleaning the hides to remove the dirt and hair, which are then treated to prevent the natural decay. Leather tanning methods have drastically changed as the years have progressed, now a much more quicker process in comparison to what was deemed normal.


But why do we need to tan hides?

Tanning leather hides preserves the material, making it durable and suitable for various uses. This process increases the leather’s strength and flexibility, improves its appearance, and makes it resistant to water and wear, which ultimately extends the lifespan of the leather products.


The Importance of High Quality Tanning:

At Crest, we have two leather tanneries located in both Italy, and Brazil, providing the highest quality leathers.


The Italian Tannery:

This is our specialist finishing plant where skilled tanners combine traditional techniques with modern technology to produce the highest quality hides for the furniture industry. Here, experienced artisans carefully process and finish each hide to meet the strict standards needed for premium furniture.

The Brazilian Tannery:

This facility produces semi-finished leather, taking it from raw to crust in large volumes. This tannery does not have a finishing facility as it would have a longer lead time to ship to our customers, requiring a specialist skill set.


This high-quality leather tanning at Crest is crucial for numerous reasons. Firstly, it ensures the durability and longevity of our leathers, making them resistant to everyday wear and tear, which maintains its appearance over time. Our high-quality tanning also enhances the leather’s aesthetic appeal, which provides a smooth, consistent texture and rich colour that is valued within the industry.

Additionally, our well-tanned leather is not only comfortable, but flexible too. This is essential for applications in furniture and automotive upholstery, as both durability and comfort are priority. This high-quality leather also tends to be more breathable and resistant to moisture, further extending its lifespan.

The use of these superior tanning techniques reduces the environmental impact by minimising harmful chemicals and waste, alongside supporting ethical practices by ensuring that the leather is processed in a way that respects the environment.


Environmental and Social Considerations:

As the leather industry evolves, it increasingly recognises the importance of environmental and social considerations in the tanning process.

In a recent survey, studies show that only 24% of respondents were aware that hides or skins used to make leather are a by-product of the food industry, which would otherwise go to waste. This unfortunate low percentage demonstrates a needs for awareness on the positive sustainable processes within the industry to make it a more eco-friendly production.

Here at Crest, we prioritise responsible and sustainable water usage at our tanneries. The water utilised undergoes thorough monitoring, treatment, and reused where possible. Any water not suitable for reuse undergoes rigorous cleaning processes and is discharged in strict accordance with European environmental regulations.

Additionally, our tanning drums have been optimised to minimise water consumption and maximise energy efficiency. We’re committed to continuing to find innovative ways of reducing our impact when it comes to finite planet resources.

Find out more about our sustainability agendas and initiatives.


Understanding the leather tanning process is crucial as it provides accurate knowledge of how leather is produced. This understanding can also empower consumers to make informed decision about the products they purchase, with consideration to quality, durability, and ethical sourcing. Additionally, understanding this process encourages appreciation for the skill, sustainability, and ethical aspects within the leather industry.