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Featuring more than 1,000 searchable technical papers, business features, country commentaries and fashion articles from editions of World Leather going back to 2002. The papers are categorised into nine topics to make the library easy to navigate.

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76 Items Found

Only natural ingredients
David Peters describes plastic as a substrate that is “eating away at leather’s rightful place in society”. He points out that, particularly for footwear, leather has been relegated to just another material. Concentrating on leather’s natural qualities is the best way to counter this, he claims.
World Leather - Jun/July 2019
New UN studies
A 2018 study on leather value chains in Africa by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has come to Sam Setter’s attention. His assessment of the document is typically forthright (referencing documents from as long ago as 1962 has done the authors few favours in Sam’s eyes).
World Leather - Jun/July 2019
Fiji water—is it more sustainable than leather?
Drawing on the example of a marketing stunt that Fiji Water carried out in January, Sam Setter calls on those within the leather industry to be more aggressive when it comes to defending and promoting their highly sustainable material. Among his suggestions are direct appeals to the consumer.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2019
Mainstream shoes are not coming back
Received wisdom in the leather industry is that the price of hides always moves in a cycle from cheap to expensive and back again. Prices reached historically high levels in 2014 and 2015 and shoe companies drastically reduced the volume of leather they were using in their collections. Tanners held tight, believing that these customers would return in the time-honoured way when hide prices came down again. Prices are down. The shoe companies have not come back. The cycle appears to be broken.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2018
Put me on a highway and show me a sign
David Peters explains how the continuing surplus of raw materials has changed the dynamics of the hide market.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2018
Quality is the new mantra
Sam Setter gives his thoughts on what the future holds for the leather industry at a time of abundant supplies of hides and skins and in the face of ongoing criticism from anti-leather campaign groups.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2018
A start-up’s story
Confusion in the marketplace over the sustainability credentials of leather and its competitor materials is rife. When boating shoe brand Two Degrees launched in June this year following a successful crowdfunding campaign, its founders put special emphasis on the footwear’s environmental credentials. But finding a way to describe the materials they had chosen to use proved to be “a minefield”.
World Leather - Jun/July 2018
Circadian dysrhythmia
David Peters insists the only productive use for hides is leather and says this should be obvious, even to the jet-lagged.
World Leather - Apr/May 2018
Woulda, coulda, shoulda
David Peters says the new year gives the global leather industry a new chance “to get it right” in the battle to win consumers’ hearts.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2017
“Blame It on the Bossa Nova”
Does the record fine of around $3.2 billion imposed on JBS, Brazil’s giant meat processor, reflect a general decline in integrity, honesty and values, in society and in business, including the leather and hide business?
World Leather - June/July 2017
The Cluster Challenge
Tanners in Egypt are about realise the 20-year-old dream to move their leather manufacturing cluster from Cairo to a new location, Robeiky Leather City. Sam Setter wonders if some of their ageing machinery will survive the 100-kilometre journey.
World Leather - June/July 2017
Cogitations, the New Year and Zorro
What is the hide market going to do in 2017? What is the direction and why? Regular columnist David Peters has consulted with industry insiders in almost 20 countries to find the answers.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2016
Reality check
After a sustained drive these past six years, light vehicle sales are losing traction and the long and winding road is now causing manufacturers to decelerate. North American volumes have peaked with their 2015 highs and while the proportion both of SUV and luxury cars has grown, overall the numbers are slowing. However, there will continue to be demand for leather from automotive companies, just that, having been operating in the fast lane for some time, growth looks likely to slow down.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2016
Comment. David Peters: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” The market is old and tired
Consumers have grown so used to choosing shoes based on photographs on a website, they may “no longer connect with the sensory aspects of leather”. This has led to a situation in which what the shoe feels like comes a distant second to what it looks like, and touching and feeling the product before buying is no longer necessary. This has made it easier for brands to“de-content leather from footwear”. Profit margin is an important factor, too, of course. The record-setting hide prices of 2014 have caused leather to lose a meaningful segment of theshoe industry and it is doubtful that this sector will return any time soon.
World Leather - June/July 2016
Comment. Sam Setter: The Ansari vision
This article views things from a positive point of view on Bangladesh. As you may have read over last month the first tanneries are preparing to move to the new industrial area bytransferring old machines from Hazaribagh to Savar. The most important factor for the tanners, whom it would bedifficult to describe as modern industrialists, is that whateveris done should cost as little as possible; this is their view,rather than seeing the shift as an opportunity to start fromscratch and to start with a clean slate.
World Leather - June/July 2016
Sensible or senseless standards - that is the question
The world is changing and the requirements of consumers change accordingly, not just for the product itself, which is dictated by ‘big fashion’ anyway, but also for the materials that go into the product and how it is made. We often talk about what is generally referred to in a wider sense as corporate social responsibility (CSR). This encompasses traceability, animal welfare, proper treatment of workers, environmental impact and safety of the product. With regards to leather, this is obviously very much related to the chemicals that are used in tannage, finishing and production.
World Leather - Apr/May 2016
The recent narrative continues to emphasise the cause and effect of high hide prices: it is the move to alternative substrates of major shoe brand, which feeds assumptions that leather has become overpriced for the marketplace. The demands of the ‘athleisure’ trend have not helped; the growth big footwear groups are reporting has come mostly from casual shoes made from canvas.
World Leather - Apr/May 2016
Committed to calf
Paris-based leathergoods brand Maison Thomas is small enough to feel the pain of recent reductions in the availability and increase in price of calfskins and calf leather, but its commitment to the material it has chosen for its high-end bags and purses remains unshaken.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2014
Hide to High Street
The second edition of the UK-based conference.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2013
Regional commentary: Europe
With the EC addressing the ‘problem of labelling’ and COTANCE calling for changes in skin trading, the industry is in a state of consultation about the optimal way forward.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2013
Sustainable leather
Sustainability and climate change are critical issues facing the world leather industry. Energy, chemicals, salt, water and waste will all become more critical for tanners and all industries.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2013
Events round-up
2nd Freiberg Leather Days: Leather up to date and 116th SLTC conference; 116th Annual conference of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists (SLTC); Awards of prizes and certificates, The University of Northampton, Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT); the 32nd Congress of the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists (IULTCS); and Beast to Beauty conference
World Leather - June/July 2013
Personalisation drives Rolls-Royce's profits
The British luxury carmaker has seen substantial growth in the number of customers requesting customised interiors over the past few years, and now almost all vehicles encompass some kind of bespoke element.
World Leather - June/July 2013
Achieving anti-soiling properties with automotive leathers
Stahl illustrates the complexity of designing an anti-soil and anti-stain finish that works for all the different test methods and for all different types of soiling and staining.
World Leather - June/July 2013
Migration of colour into water-based finishes
For the tannery supplying the automotive and upholstery markets, an important characteristic of the dyed leather is the stability of the colour when exposed to various extremes of temperature and humidity. This applies not only to the dyed crust leather but especially to the leathers with a finishing coat, as found in the car interior. By Campbell Page, Markus Hess and Gloria Diaz TFL Ledertechnik, Germany.
World Leather - June/July 2013
Battle for a cutting edge continues
Laser-cutting technology providers Gerber Scientific and Lectra have both given detailed insights into their visions for the future. As both companies include car seat manufacturers and automotive tanneries who supply them among their customers, what these companies have to say is of importance to this niche part of the leather industry.
World Leather - June/July 2013
Consumers want leather
A recent study carried out by Eagle Ottawa suggests wealthy consumers care deeply about having leather upholstery in their cars. Its senior technical director in China, Geoffrey Thams, believes this has important consequences for the leather industry.
World Leather - June/July 2013
Syntans: improved performance for automotive leathers
The development of syntans for the use in automotive leather has been driven by two major technical requirements: improved light fastness properties and low residual monomer concentration - such as phenol and formaldehyde - within these products. As a result of chemical developments, both of these requirements can finally be met. By Jochen Ammenn, BASF, Germany.
World Leather - June/July 2013
Wheel of fortune
A specialist in leather for steering wheels, Andreas Kindermann, is convinced that increasing affluence in China will lead to a much higher proportion of cars there having leather-covered steering wheels.
World Leather - June/July 2013
Water abstraction, salinity and tanneries: The Ranipet CEPT, a complete solution
A combination of reverse osmosis (RO) and evaporation/condensation has ensured that 95% of the volume of effluent entering the Ranipet CETP plant is returned to the tanners as high quality water for reuse in a massive closed loop. No liquid is discharged from the plant, and the operation has almost completely stopped the abstraction/use of potable water for leather manufacture in the district
World Leather - Apr/May 2013
Beauty that’s skin deep
Leather artisans demonstrate the vast skill, time and patience that go into creating bespoke products by hand.
World Leather - Apr/May 2013
Leather seats on the metro
When Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority launched its metro service in 2009, it decided to put leather on the seats in its Gold Class. Even for short journeys by public transport, it wanted passengers to have access to a touch of luxury.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2013
Skills council plots path ahead
Exactly a year after its foundation, a special skills group comprising representatives of the textile, clothing and leather industries in Europe, has come up with seven recommendations for what the European Commission, national governments, education providers and manufacturers in the sector can do to enhance skills, preserve traditional know-how and create new jobs.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2012
Perplexed by Puma
The ongoing focus in the industry on carbon footprint and sustainability makes it imperative for us to consider comments in the later part of 2012 from one of the world’s most prominent athletic footwear brands, Puma, on the environmental impact of shoes with leather uppers.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2012
Innovation Part 2: Co-products and solids management
An analysis of good practice with a broad overview of how co-products associated with leather manufacture and other solids are managed.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2012
Redeveloping the economy: The footwear sector
The footwear industry is not immune to economic uncertainty and many major brands faced with ever higher factory gate prices from their principal supplier, China, coupled to greatly increased freight costs are being forced to rethink their sourcing policy.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2012
Redeveloping the economy: The leather industry
The combination of raw materials at source, business opportunity, possible non-frozen investments and apprenticeship schemes must offer a better and more sustainable future for the leather sector and young people, as well as the broader redeveloping economy.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2012
Regional commentary: China
A growing population and thirst for luxury goods mean the Chinese market is a key focus for leathergoods and footwear companies. The government has responded with policies that aim to restructure the tanning industry, which it hopes will better position it to respond to internal needs and keep its leather exporting industry competitive
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2012
A void within the global leather sector: Closure of Lederinstitut Gerberschule Reutlingen
Over the last 20 years many organisations that performed fundamental research into issues faced by the leather industry have ceased to exist, but LGR continued to cover this vital role. Now it, too, is to close.
World Leather - Jun/Jul 2011
BMW warns South African leather suppliers
High-end automotive brand BMW has warned suppliers to its Rosslyn plant in South Africa, including tanners, that it will look outside the country for alternative sources of material and components if performance does not improve.
World Leather - Jun/Jul 2011
Bill Amberg’s passion for leather remains undiminished
Few ambassadors for leather are as passionate about using the material in his products as luxury handmade leathergoods designer Bill Amberg.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2011
China announces change at ACLE
The focus at the 2010 All China Leather Exhibition in Shanghai in September was very much on the host nation, with the announcement of important future changes to the leather production industry in China.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2010
Kotai, a tannery with an unusual take on leather
The Taiwanese tannery uses chemical-free dyes including one derived from leaves taken from a special tree in the mountain areas of Taiwan.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2010
Magical leathergoods at the Harry Potter exhibition
Warner Bros had special leathergoods and footwear considerations to take into account when setting up its itinerant Harry Potter: The Exhibition event.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2010
There is nothing new in high-heel shoes
The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto has just concluded an exhibition that looked in the closest possible detail at the development of the high-heel shoe from its origins in the chopines that became all the rage among affluent women in Renaissance Italy and Spain to the moment when it became a footwear choice for women only.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2010
In defence of the good name of leather
Competition is healthy because it concentrates the mind, but why should the leather industry have to put up with companies promoting synthetic substitutes by misusing and abusing the good name that leather has spent thousands of years building up?
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2010
In with the old as well as the new
Germany-based Otto Kessler has always looked for ways of bringing a modern touch to the ancient art of glove making.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2010
SLTC Conference 2010
Six papers were presented in at the 113th annual conference of the UK’s Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists, “Tanning the Toyota way”.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2010
Beast to Beauty conference 2010
Industry experts from all stages of the leather supply chain took to the stand to share their insights with delegates, but the main focus throughout was on producing leather in a more sustainable way.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2010
Green shoots
The Scottish Leather Group has opened a new thermal energy plant at Bridge of Weir, while Ecco has enhanced its reputation for sustainable business development by launching a new Flesh to Fuel programme, in which it uses biofuel from fleshings to lower its carbon footprint. Both are examples of new green initiatives in the leather industry.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2010
Positive outlook for Europe’s luxury brands
The economic downturn has had a much greater impact on the manufacturing sector than governments across the globe would care to admit. However, while many economies in Europe are still struggling, or have hit new stumbling blocks, European leather and leathergoods manufacturers are experiencing something of a reprieve.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2010
The deerest of designs
Designer Jo Kettle uses springbok skins for her collection of bags, belts and cushions.
World Leather - Jun/Jul 2010
Anti-dumping: the beginning of the end
Manufacturers in Europe have long complained that their counterparts in China and Vietnam receive help that allows them to put a lower export price on the shoes they make than the price consumers pay for the same products in their domestic markets.
World Leather - Jun/Jul 2010
The old ways are best
Children’s footwear brand Kavat is still producing shoes in Kumla, Sweden’s traditional home of footwear manufacture, with the founder’s granddaughters now heavily involved in leading the company. A focus on traditional methods and local materials is opening up new markets all over northern Europe.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
From Formula One to fashion
Italian brand Dal Dosso was established in 1974 by designer Franco Dal Dosso. The brand initially focused on producing gloves for Formula One drivers, but has since diversified into other sports as well as into the fashion market.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
The global footwear industry
This report aims to give an up-to-date picture of the state of the industry at the close of 2009, with in-depth reports and analysis of what is happening in a number of the most important footwear producing countries in the world.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
Bringing Brazil up to date
Brazilian footwear designer Sarah Chofakian on her inspirations.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
Tannery of the Year Awards goes far beyond benchmarking
A review of the first Tannery of the Year Awards Programme, offering a recap of what the initiative stands for, what the criteria are for tanneries across the world to become finalists and an extensive report of the first Gala Dinner in Hong Kong on March 29 at which the winners of the 2009 competition were announced.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
Raw material developments down under
Despite the intense focus in recent months on developments in raw material supply in the Americas, the importance of Australia and New Zealand to hide traders and tanners around the world is far from diminished.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
From Formula One to fashion
Italian brand Dal Dosso was established in 1974 by designer Franco Dal Dosso. The brand initially focused on producing gloves for Formula One drivers, but has since diversified into other sports as well as into the fashion market.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
Anti-dumping extended for 15 months
The European Union has decided to extend anti-dumping duties on imports of leather shoes from China and Vietnam.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
Leather Working Group prepares to take next steps
Five years on since the LWG came into existence, influential members believe the organisation is ready to become more targeted, to welcome involvement of other leather industry organisations and of more brands outside the footwear sector.
World Leather - Apr/May 2010
A role to play
The new head of leather at specialty chemicals company Lanxess, Dr Markus Eckert, explains how leather plays an integral part in his company’s overall business. In an exclusive interview with World Leather, he says his company will continue to optimise its product portfolio and service offering to the industry.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2010
Second conference builds on Beast to Beauty’s success
What was discussed at the second Beast to Beauty Conference
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2009
Power vacuum in Nigeria
Hope remains for the livestock and tanning sectors in the Nigerian state of Kano in spite of serious set-backs in the form of energy and water shortages.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2009
The Buyer's View: Audi celebrates a century of leather
In 2009, German carmaker Audi celebrated 100 years of using leather in its cars.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2009
Regional Commentary - China: Picture changes
Tanneries and footwear factories have closed in high numbers in China over the course of the last 12 months. In some cases, companies have been unable to keep up with the government’s demands for better environmental or workforce management. In others, the pressures have been purely economic. In any case, the China Leather Industry Association argues here that the development will be a positive one in the end, a classic case of less being more.
World Leather - 08 - Dec/Jan 2008
The Buyer's View: Leather helps ‘old slipper’ win award
The role leather plays in setting the right tone for Monaco’s Hotelier of the Year, Fredrik Aspegrén.
World Leather - 08 - Dec/Jan 2008
Ecco expands integrated supply chain concept to China
The Danish footwear company’s preference to co-locate its tanneries with its footwear production plants, led to the launch of a new tannery in Xiamen, China, in September 2008.
World Leather - 06 - Oct 2008
SWOT analysis of the leather, footwear and leather goods industry in Bangladesh
The leather sector - that is leather, leather footwear and leather-goods manufacture–is perceived as one of the important economic sectors in Bangladesh. An important feature is that the businesses in this sector are privately owned, with only a few units belonging to multinational companies. The majority of these enterprises are small, and employ fewer than 50 persons. Wet blue leather produced by the tanneries is generally sold in the local market, while a considerable volume of crust and finished leather, footwear and leather goods are exported.
World Leather - 01 - Feb/Mar 2008
From an industrial training course to PhD research: a clear and unique pathway
In an historic series of events held at the University of Northampton and at Leathersellers Hall in London, the Lederinstitut Gerberschule Reutlingen - the German Leather School - finalised a major agreement of cooperation with the UK university. The most obvious outcome is that Lederinstitut Gerberschule Reutlingen (LGR) graduates will be able to transfer to the UK and join the final year at the University of Northampton to obtain the prestigious B.Sc. in Materials Technology (Leather). It is also hoped that there will be many positive outcomes in other directions of the relationship related to teaching and research.
World Leather - 01 - Feb/Mar 2008
Labour survey of the leather, footwear and leather goods industry in Bangladesh
The leather sector - that is leather manufacture, leather footwear manufacture, and the leather goods industry - is perceived as one of the most important economic sectors in Bangladesh. An important feature is that the businesses in this sector are privately owned, with only a few units belonging to multinational companies. Detailed information was published as a SWOT analysis in World Leather, April 2008. Based on a sample survey, this second study deals with information about employees of all categories (managerial, skilled, and unskilled). It provides detail on age, income, working hours, and training within the sector.
World Leather - 01 - Feb/Mar 2008
Elements in the Leather Industry (Part 2)
The elements of the periodic table have a diverse and interesting history. This article will attempt to bring some richness to the elements that are used or are present in the manufacture of leather or the treatment of its waste. This is not intended to be an exhaustive academic indulgence but more of an interesting interlude.
World Leather - 01 - Feb/Mar 2008
Technology: The International School of Tanning Technology (ISTT), South Africa
Situated in Grahamstown, close to the southern tip of Africa is a leather school with an excellent pedigree. Established in 1999 it now provides much of the educational needs for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) including countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
World Leather - 06 - Oct 2007
The 57th SLTC South Africa Section annual conference
The 57th SLTC (South Africa Section) annual convention was held in the picturesque Kwazulu-Natal Midlands in June. In an effort to encourage the attendance of tanners the conference was held later in the year than usual and the content of the presentations was reviewed. This move by the committee was highly successful and attracted a total of 78 delegates representing a number of leather-associated industries and at least 14 tanneries.
World Leather - 05 - Aug/Sept 2007
XXIX IULTCS congress and 103rd ALCA annual meeting
Washington DC was the venue for the joint IULTCS congress and ALCA annual meeting in June, the first time that these two events had been held together. Attended by more than 220 people from 22 different countries it was a major international event, during which no less than 31 technical papers were presented.
World Leather - 05 - Aug/Sept 2007

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