The Tannery La Perla Azzurra is in Santa Croce sull´Arno, heart of the Leather District.
This area of Tuscany, between Florence and Pisa, is the only Italian District where high quality vegetable tanned leather is produced.
Vegetable tanning is an old craft that, then and now, uses exclusively tannins of vegetable origin and that requires time and craftsmanship in order to transform raw material in a completely natural leather which is perfectly suited for all kinds of productions, a union of technology and tradition, a niche of market for producers and consumers looking not only for high quality materials, but also a personal lasting style.
Our main product is the shoulders of French origin with a “regular” cut, all selected skins for belts.
From raw hides to the valuable product we all know
Raw-shoulders are put into the drums for the first stage of tanning; acids and Calcium Hydrate are used to get rid of the fur and impurities. This stage takes 48 hours; after that, skins are shaved and split to bring them to the ideal thickness and to clean them from the last impurities.
The actual vegetable tanning starts now. Skins are put back into the drums and tannin (vegetable extract) is added; tannin we use is “Quebracho” and it comes from Argentina. After this stage the skins are “natural” and they are pressed to get rid of excess water; first sorting now begins, skins are divided into piles according to shape (some skins are good for belts, some for bags, some for other jobs), quality and size. Now skins are put again into the drums to be either simply greased, for the “natural” articles, or dyed through and greased.
The hands-on job now begins, every single skin is taken a passed through the sammying setting out machine to “flatten” the leather and then hanged on the “chain” for a few days to dry out. Once dryed, skins are taken under the “cylinder” (basically an iron wheel) to close the pores of the grain and to flatten some more the skins; skins are then trimmed using special scissors.
Skins are then stocked into the warehouse, ready to be finished according to customers’ preferences and needs.