The tanners’ novelties

In view of the pre-collections discovered at Blossom Première Vision last December, spring/summer 2021 promises to be innovative and refined. Four themes in particular stood out among the new items presented by exhibitors, while ecology has become a major concern for tanneries.

Playing with light

Tanneries like to play with light to embellish their items. They make use of a number of techniques to apply a variety of effects, such as shine. So, Conceria Superior covers a chrome-tanned cowhide with a finish that gives it a shine similar to box. And Conceria Cilp makes a supple and rather fine calfskin (0.9 – 1.1) gleam through polishing and ironing. In a different vein, Curtidos Badia creates a cloud effect on a young bull leather with a semi-aniline finish that alternates light and dark patches. Somewhat similarly, the item of bovine flesh split that has been drum dyed and repainted with a brush by Opéra has a curious moiré appearance. The shearling baby calf from Russo di Casandrino gleams with iridescent highlights thanks to the layer of film on its surface, while the lamb leather from Mégisserie Richard glitters gently thanks to a sparkly finish.


Chrome-tanned cow leather with a box-style shiny finish from Conceria Superior


Fine and shiny soft Calfskin from Conceria Cilp


Semi-aniline young bull leather with a cloud effect from Curtidos Badia

Solution-dyed bovine flesh split, repainted with a brush by Opéra

Laminated shearling baby calf with iridescent highlights from Russo di Casandrino

Sparkly lamb leather from Mégisserie Richard

Textures and relief

Here as well, tanneries have a full range of techniques at their disposal to create relief on the surface of their items, and the results vary in intensity. To start, let us mention the lightest relief: the delicate crumple of a very fine lamb leather from Pellican, laminated with a “sweet wrapper” paper. The stretch lamb that is pleated by twisting from Cuirs du Futur also aims to be rather subtle, despite claiming to “stay pleated even when stretched”. The machine-pleated lamb leather from Indutan also has a placed embossing made using “a sort of stamp.” The pigmented calfskin from Bonaudo is covered with an embossing that looks like tiny grooves and is quite a head-turner! The silver laminated lamb leather from Deviconcia, crumpled then embossed with a “quilted” grid pattern, is even more demonstrative. The python leather from La Patrie gains in thickness with the addition of sparkling resin grains applied by hand to some of its markings. And finally, the shearling lamb leather from Inducol opts for the regular relief of ribbing, obtained by shaving.


Lightly crumpled lamb leather from Pellican

Permanently pleated stretch lamb leather from Cuirs du Futur

Machine-pleated lamb leather with placed embossing by Indutan

gmented calf leather with tiny embossed grooves from Bonaudo

Silver laminated lamb leather, crumpled and embossed like quilting from Deviconcia

Python with its markings covered by sparkling grainy resin from La Patrie

Ribbed shaved shearling lamb leather from Inducol

Sophisticated vintage

Vintage finishes are becoming more sophisticated, either through greater subtlety or because they result from more elaborate procedures. In the former category, we find a “paper” finish lamb leather, slightly shiny and stiff, that brings to mind the 1970s from Russo di Casandrino, while Faeda offers an embossed calfskin item covered with a marbled finish, as if irregularly and superficially worn. Inducol also imitates wearing with a patchy silver coating on the flesh side. In the more elaborate category, we find a stretch suede lamb leather from Cuirs du Futur, rubbed with abrasive paper to give a faded finish, a goat leather that has been dyed blue by Alran, coated with a silver film then buffed to give a two tone finish, and an orange embossed young bull leather from Rémy Carriat, with a touch of white sponged onto the peak of the grain for an alternative two-tone effect.

“Paper” finish lamb leather by Russo di Casandrino

Calfskin embossed with a marble finish from Faeda

Shearling lamb leather from Inducol coated on the flesh side with a patchy film

Faded-effect stretch lamb leather from Cuirs du Futur

Coated and buffed goat leather from Alran

Embossed bull leather with a sponged white finish from Rémy Carriat

Texture on buffed skin

Whether on the flesh side, for suede, or the grain side for nubuck, buffing is synonymous with softness. Not content with this simple sensation, tanneries use a variety of procedures to make it more sophisticated. Such as Mégisserie Alric, which “works on new lamb leathers and new buffing methods, before or after dyeing, to obtain suedes as smooth as baby calfskin.” Rémy Carriat applies a film to a nubuck young bull leather, then drums it to make it super soft and add cracks to the surface. Faeda imitates nubuck on a croco-embossed calfskin for an “unusual finish”. More unexpectedly, Cuirs du Futur and Conceria Superior combine a velvety and a greased texture on a nubuck stretch lamb, for the former, and on a baby calfskin for the latter, by incorporating an oil during the process.

Nubuck finish on coated and drummed young bull leather from Rémy Carriat

Crocodile grain Calfskin with a “nubuck” finish from Faeda

Faded stretch lamb leather from Cuirs du Futur

Oiled baby calf suede from Conceria Superior

Green thread

Tanneries have not lost sight of the collective goal of the industry, which is to make leather even greener and more sustainable. Many of them offer metal-free items, such as Alran with its vegetable- or synthetic-tanned goat leather, or Pellican with its lamb leather. “We have managed to produce items in lamb or calfskin without chrome, with an attractive round feel, something that is very difficult with synthetic tanning,” our correspondent at Russo di Casandrino is pleased to tell us. At Carisma, lamb leather and baby calf from New Zealand are also produced without chrome, using synthetic tanning. Other initiatives focus on sustainability. For example, Conceria Stella has obtained Silver certification from LWG, by ensuring the traceability of all its skins, which also helps them control the entire process! And Chiorino Technology has just created a more ecological finish that is 30% polyurethane and 70% a vegetable-based polymer. This is particularly ecological for its metal-free bovine flesh splits, while still very resistant. Progress continues towards green goals!

Wrinkled, metal-free New Zealand lamb leather from Pellican

Synthetic tanned lamb leather with an attractive rounded handle from Russo di Casandrino

Synthetic tanned baby calfskin from Carisma

Metal-free bovine flesh split with an ecological finish from Chiorino Technology

Check out the complete of the tanners present next 11-13 February HERE

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