The hallmarks of Natural Leather

The living animal is exposed to various types of influence from the environment. Natural leather proudly bears the hallmarks of its origin. These individual characteristics and marks have been accumulated gradually over years. They are not weakening defects and will not shorten the life of the leather. In fact, they are considered to enhance its appearance and distinguish leather from imitations.

 
Warts 

Full grain Leather

  Horn Scratches

Full grain Leather

 
Fat Folds

Full grain Leather

  Dung Marks

Full grain Leather

 
Closed Scars

Full grain Leather

  Veins

Full grain Leather

 
Insect Bites

Full grain Leather

  Salt Stains

Full grain Leather

 
Curry-comb Scratches

Full grain Leather

  Goad Marks

Full grain Leather

 

THE TANNING PROCESS AT HANNITAN

  • SEMI PROCESSED WET BLU HIDES that have been already split to the required thickness are received from a wet blu tannery.
  • The hides are wet and they are blue (from the chrome tannage), hence the name WET BLU. This process is considered a
  • “pre tanning process” so that hides are already “semi tanned”. The process of tanning a hide is to ensure that it is preserved over a long period of time and does not rot.

GRADING: Hides are selected into categories of grades, ie, grade A, B, C etc.

SHAVING: The hides are laid flat and are fed through a machine with very sharp and quick rotating blades on

  • a cylinder, to achieve the thickness required for the desired finished article.

RE-TANNING and DYEING: The hides are placed in large “drums” where they are re-tanned to our specific needs and the pH is controlled

so that there is a good penetration of dye that has been added in the drums whilst the hides are re-tanned. The dyeing process in

this operation gives the hide the colour required in between the top and the underneath side of the hide.

This helps “camouflage” the leather if the surface is scuffed as an end use product.

  • SAMMING: When the hide comes out of the abovementioned drum, it is soaking wet. In order to remove the liquid out of the hide and to
  • speed up the drying process, the hides are fed through two cylinders and the liquid is “squeezed” out,ie, the water is compressed
  • out of them although they still remain moist. (approx 60% of the water remains).

  • TOGGLING AND DRYING: the hides are spread out and “pegged or clamped” onto a large grid like frame
  • and go through a drying oven for a few hours to get them completely dry.

UP TO THIS POINT, the process is standard for all types of leathers and the product is called

DYED CRUST. The hide is quite stiff and has been given its “pre colour” in the middle.

 

FULL GRAIN LEATHERS – SEMI ANILINE or PIGMENTED FINISH.

  • DRY MILLING: the hides are placed in huge “tumble drier type drums”. These drums spin continuously and the hides inside are softened by the constant tumbling against each other.

  • SPRAY LINE: The hide gets laid out flat on a conveyor belt and goes through a spray booth twice where it gets 2 coats of finish sprayed onto it .
  • Immediately after the spray booth, it goes thru a long  “oven” for drying after each application.

  • DRY MILLING: the hides go back into the milling drums for further “tumbling” or milling to get the softness that is required.

 

SPRAY LINE – FINAL COAT: a finish or final coat is sprayed onto the leather for the “touch required” (eg, waxy or oily etc) on the leather and to seal the finish so that it is colourfast.

  • MEASURING: The finished leather is measured on an electronic pinwheel measuring machine for its chargeable area.
  • This method of measuring (by electronic pinwheel machine ) is the only internationally accepted method of measuring soft upholstery leathers.

  • INSPECTION AND PACKING: The finished leather is then quality inspected at the inspection table and thereafter packed suitably for dispatch to our customer.

 

CORRECTED OR SEMI CORRECTED LEATHERS – PIGMENTED FINISH.

  • STUCCO APPLICATION:  This is when the hide has a  “poly-filler” type paste applied to it with a spatula.
  • This paste is called STUCCO PASTE.  The paste fills the holes and imperfections in the hide .

BUFFING OF HIDE: the hide is fed through a buffing machine on a flat conveyor and the surface (grain) is buffed with a special buffing machine. 

  • This buffing process levels the “poly-filled” areas out to the same level as the grain of leather. All imperfections have now either been filled with stucco or buffed off in this process.

 

SPRAY LINE: Once the hide is buffed, it goes for 2 to 3 coats of pigment and then

a final coat of sealer top (so that colour/finish does not rub off)

  • DRY MILLING: Hides are sent for “tumbling” or milling in the milling drums so that the leather becomes soft.

         

 

  • PRINTING/EMBOSSING: a “leather print or grain” is applied with an emboss roller so that
  • it imitates a particular desired grain that was removed in the stucco and buffing process.

  • DRY MILLING: When leather is printed or embossed, it firms up as the fibres in the hide are compressed together by the
  • pressure applied, so the leather is then MILLED AGAIN to soften it back to the final softness required.

MEASURING: The finished leather is measured on an electronic pinwheel measuring machine for its chargeable area.

  • This method of measuring (by electronic pinwheel machine) is the only internationally accepted method of measuring soft upholstery leathers.

  • INSPECTION AND PACKING: The finished leather is then quality inspected at the inspection
  • table and thereafter packed suitably for dispatch to our customer.

______________________________

 

TYPES OF FURNITURE NAPPA :

FULL GRAIN -  FULL ANILINE (Dyed and top sprayed with DYE 

                            only)
                                   - SEMI ANILINE  (Dyed and top sprayed with a DYE   
   and PIGMENT only)      
                                   - PIGMENTED ( Dyed and sprayed with PIGMENT 
   only)

2) “SNUFFED” GRAIN – This is usually a SLIGHT correction only and can be finished with a semi aniline or a pigmented finish)

3) CORRECTED GRAIN – PIGMENTED FINISH ONLY

4) SPLITS  -   PIGMENTED ( Dyed and top sprayed with PIGMENT only )
                   -   PU COATED  ( Commonly known as BYCAST)


 - ANILINE or SEMI ANILINE finishes tend to have depth and look alive.

- PIGMENTED finishes tend to be bland and “dead” and have a plastic look to it.

ADVANTAGES OF LEATHER FURNITURE

- Authentic ……the older it gets the better it looks. It develops its own patina, character and look over time.
- Long lasting…….if proper care is applied, the piece will last a very long time.
- It’s timeless ……….leather will never go out of fashion
- Character………only GENUINE leather can have this. A natural look ,with depth and character…..each piece will  “age” with its own unique look.
- Easy care……..most modern leathers are produced with “easy care” features in mind ,ie, wipe off to clean.

FULLGRAIN vs CORRECTED GRAIN

WHY FULL GRAIN ???

Full Grain leather looks far more natural showing marks and scratches from the animals natural life. It has a soft and silky touch to it. It generally has a more

“alive “ look to it with a lot of depth due to the semi aniline finish. However , due to this finish , it is IMPERATIVE that it is kept away from direct sunlight !! 

The gamma rays from the South African sun are very strong .

WHY CORRECTED GRAIN ???

This is for someone who does not want to see the natural beauty of leather. They would rather see a clean defect free furniture piece but still be able to say that it is leather !!

Corrected grain generally looks more “synthetic” although the Hannitan CG is pretty close to the real McCoy!!!
CG IS practical as it requires little maintenance and is “easy clean”

CARE FOR LEATHER

-Leather should be wiped regularly with a dry soft cloth in order to prevent dust build up.
-NEVER use shoe polish or detergents to clean leather. Due to the nature of it , spills should be dabbed IMMEDIATELY  with a soft dry absorbent cloth.                                                            
-Semi Aniline finishes are sensitive to light. They must be kept away from windows and areas with direct sunlight.
- Leather will improve with age , but should still be fed with an approved “hide food “ in order to maintain its suppleness.

LEATHER TREATED AS DESCRIBED ABOVE WILL ALWAYS MAINTAIN ITS NATURAL BEAUTY AND DEVELOP AN INDIVIDUAL PATINA OVER TIME.