The upcoming September edition of Première Vision Leather promises some interesting discoveries. Eleven new exhibitors are joining the show to delight designers of leather goods, footwear and clothing.
Founded in 1907, the Mesi tannery is proud to be one of the oldest in Italy. From its illustrious past, it has retained its specialisation in ovine leather, as one of the few companies in the world – and the only in Europe – able to split it. Soft, supple and highly absorbent, the flesh side of the split becomes the famous chamois leather that is particularly suited to polishing car bodywork without the risk of scratches. The grain side produces a strong and sensual material, ideal for lining bags, small leather goods and footwear.
Imported raw from New Zealand, the skins are first tanned in the company’s plant in Romania then re-tanned and finished in its workshops in the Turin region. Entirely metal-free, its ovine leathers are as ecological as possible and totally harmless. Hypoallergenic, they comply with the specific and very strict regulations for children’s footwear. With a production capacity of a million pairs per year, the Mesi tannery can satisfy the most demanding luxury houses.
An offshoot of the Alba group, the Italian tannery Pegaso was created in 1995, initially to supply leisure footwear manufacturers with bovine leathers. Today, the company still dedicates 70% of its production of calfskin to the footwear sector with the remaining 30% going to leather goods labels. It offers a large selection of articles in full grain calfskin, 90% of which are chrome tanned, available in a variety of finishes (aniline or more coverage) and types of embossing as well as flesh split in a wide palette of colours.
Located in Santa Croce since its creation in 1947, the Alba group bought a factory in Ukraine in 2006 in order to produce 50% of the wet blue it uses from skins from Eastern Europe, while the remaining 50% is purchased from various partners in Europe and the United States. Aware of the environmental demands of luxury labels, which the company is determined to meet, it boasts a number of certifications (LWG, ISO) in order to reassure them.
In terms of ecology, the South Korean company Atko Planning can proudly claim to be a model! Created in 2014, it recovers the wet blue waste from Korean tanneries which it shreds into fine particles then uses a chemical process to compact it with natural rubber. This leather compound is transformed into sheets or fibres that can be used for a variety of purposes including leather goods, footwear but also belts and even car seat covers.
The basic concept of Atko planning is fundamentally responsible, particularly as the waste comes from tanneries with Leather Working Group certification and the compacting process uses neither water nor toxic substances. With a quality that is “similar to the original leather,” the articles, both the sheets and the fibres, boast ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and GRS (Global Recycle Standard) certification.
Since its creation in 1979, the Taiwanese company Paiho has continuously innovated to improve its offer for demanding clients such as Nike or Adidas. While still renowned for the products that made its reputation, such as elastic bands, velcro fasteners, laces, straps and buckles for shoes, today the company also offers less familiar products such as water-repellent fabrics for shoe uppers, layers of insulation for shoes, clothing and gloves, reflective fabrics, or jacquard fabrics with motifs made from fibre optics.
Although at the cutting-edge of technology, the company does not neglect eco-responsibility, which is at the heart of its marketing strategy. This means it has been using recycled polyester since 2008, dyes that do not contain heavy metals and it develops new fibres that are both high-performance and ecological, such as a fibre made from bamboo that has been carbonised at 800°C. Until now the company’s development was focused on Asia (China and South-East Asia) but today it is looking to conquer new markets.
Located near Bangkok, the Thai tannery Chun Wang describes itself as the ideal partner for providing manufacturers throughout Asia with leather of a comparable quality to European production, at very competitive prices. With more than eighty years of experience and the best and most innovative equipment, this reliable company can satisfy the needs of the most demanding clients in the sectors of leather goods, footwear and upholstery.
Using raw bovine hides imported from France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and Belgium, tanned using chrome, vegetable tannins or semi-vegetable tannins, Chun Wang produces a very varied range of leathers including pure aniline, full grain, suede, nubuck, box or embossed, as well as pull-up, waterproof, water-repellent and flesh splits. In the process of obtaining ISO 9001 and Leather Working Group certification, the company’s catalogue includes a number of metal-free references.
After just ten years of existence, this Chinese company with around thirty employees, based in Dongguan, has built a catalogue of very varied references, allowing it to serve a wide range of sectors including upholstery, footwear (70% of its customers), clothing and leather goods. Specialists in weaving and braiding, the company offers original and high-performance products made from synthetic fibres as well as more unusual natural fibres such as raffia, cork and even leather, which it can combine with other materials. The company is also proud of its services, such as creating brand-new bespoke weaves, in order to bring a unique touch to collections.
Since 2001, the Brazilian tannery, Fini Leather, has worked hard to create attractive collections for its customers in the footwear and leather goods sectors, seeking to reconcile quality, creativity and competitiveness. Located in the historic tanning region in the south of the country, the company produces chrome-tanned bovine leather in all sorts of finishes: natural grain, mechanical grain, laminated and pigmented. “We are particularly proud of our metallic and pearl finishes,” their spokesperson tells us. At the next edition of Première Vision Leather in September, it will present digital python prints, python and crocodile embossings and some decorated leathers that have been specially developed for the occasion.
In order to ensure homogeneity when dyeing its various articles, the company has its own colour palette. Aware of the importance of the environmental aspects in the industry and in fashion in particular, the company produces 70,000m² of leather each month under the most ecological conditions possible, with its own water treatment station that allows it to fully recycle its wastewater, responsible processes and raw hides sourced from reliable partners.
Founded in 1995 in Mengzhou, in the Chinese province of Henan, in just twenty-four years Henan Prosper has become the largest producer of suede shearling in the world. Over a surface area of more than 1600m², the 10,000 employees produce some 32 million skins per year. “Even in the high season, our production capacity remains the same and we are always able to meet our clients’ demands,” their spokesperson told us. Produced using mixed tanning, transformed from raw hides imported from Australia, 60% are destined for footwear and 40% for clothing. Thanks to an extensive research and development department, it strives to fulfil even the most ambitious requests of its clients. Despite its size, Henan Prosper is determined to operate sustainably, thanks to water treatment facilities in line with the scale of the plant and the use of biogas rather than coal to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. It has also received Leather Working Group certification.
This small tannery, created in 1926 in Barcelona, relocated in 2000 to Igualada and is currently run by the fourth generation of specialists. Drawing on their genealogy and their experience, they carefully purchase wet blue from reliable European partners in order to produce quality bovine leather, from box type calfskin to nubuck plus bovine belly, and finished leathers that have been embossed and drummed to softness.
Constantly seeking to improve its articles, the team at Curtidos Castaner has made a strength of its modest size in order to ensure maximum reactivity to the requests or suggestions of its clients.
TL San Martin made the most of its relocation to new premises in 2018 to modernise its production equipment even further with the latest technology. As a result, the company can offer a wide variety of fashion leathers, ranging from laminated articles to perforated leathers via a number of finishes and styles of embossing as well as bonding on textiles. With a monthly capacity of around 70 000 square feet, it is an active participant (80%) in the footwear sector of its country, Spain but also exports 40% of its production to Portugal and France. Its second market is leather goods, representing some 20% of its client base.
Mainly working with chrome-tanned cow and goat leathers, it also boasts a number of chrome-free articles which allow it to respond to requests for more ecological leathers. Perfectly compliant with Reach standards, it has also made a number of improvements in order to reduce its consumption of electricity, water and gas, minimising the use of chemical products and reducing its CO² emissions into the atmosphere.
Since 1997, Shinsung places its weaving expertise at the service of accessories labels, particularly bag makers (80% of its client base). Its mastery of jacquard is particularly adapted to the production of monogrammed fabrics with elaborate logos. It is also an expert in printing on natural or synthetic materials. Along with its own references that are available in stock, the company also offers a customization service, allowing labels to personalize their collections.
Very careful with the quality of its products, it has put in place a rigorous internal control system. Sensitive to its clients’ needs, it has also adopted best practices to produce eco-responsible fabrics under optimal conditions in order to reduce its environmental impact. Certification from recognised institutions – BCI (Better Cotton initiative), Repreve, GRS (Global Recycle Standard), etc –is proof of its commitment to ecology.
Meanwhile, you can source your leathers on the Marketplace Première Vision