The luxury Italian leather we use for all of our leather products must first be treated and finished before it can be used. The fascinating finishing process consists of three stages, which turns rawhide into the smooth, coloured leather that you see on our furniture.
It all starts the rawhide, which is the name given to the leather after it has been removed from the animal. It is then sent to the tannery where it goes through a cleaning process to remove any unwanted substances. Once cleaned, the rawhide leather is then spun by machine with either lime or calcium carbonate, which stops the skin putrefying. The rawhide is then cleaned of all remaining lime or calcium carbonate.
The next step is known as ‘Wet Blue’. This is when the newly treated rawhide is bathed in chromium salts, which cause it to turn blue. The leather is then inspected by highly trained professionals who determine the quality of the leather and then place it in a category depending on how good it is.
The top layer of the leather is known as full grain leather, which is the most sought after. Corrected grain is the second layer of leather and is the most common in the production of furniture. The third layer is known as split leather and is of the least quality. The thickness of each layer is kept consistent thanks to a shaving process. The leather is then re-tanned and also re-dyed before being stretched and dried.
Before it can be used, the leather will then need to go through the final finishing process. The leather is coated in a pigment dye, which gives the leather its chosen colour. After the final coat is applied the leather is pummeled or milled and then ironed to create a smooth, supple texture.
View all of our available types and colours of leather by visiting our showroom where you can view a selection of swatches. If you’ve already decided, why not order your chesterfield sofa online or call us on 01484 663 294 for more information.