The use of animal skins predates the Stone Age, presumably as tarpaulins, protective clothing or for the manufacture of belts, harnesses, bags and containers. Animal skins were dried, fats were incorporated into the leather to make them softer and waterproof and they were possibly smoked to preserve the result. But this type of preservation was not real tanning.
In olden times, tanning was considered to be an ‘odoriferous’ trade. Tanning by ancient methods was indeed extremely foul- smelling and hence most tanneries were situated in the outskirts of towns. The use of urine and animal faeces combined with the smell of decaying flesh due to the absence of conservation options was what made ancient tanneries so odoriferous and the profession of tanner unpopular.
Proper tanning is the most important step in leather production. It is just one part in the entire process of manufacturing leather. Tanning is the method of preserving animal skin, with or without hair, using tannins. These are acidic chemical compounds that stabilise the fibre structure of the skin and prevent it from decaying, decomposing and oxidising. A tannery is where these skins and hides are processed, and the profession is called tanner. The tanning process involves many stages where the skins have to be treated first and, once tanned, depending on the application and specific customer requests, the leather is dyed, ironed, sanded or oiled.
CASINO HIDE TANNERS
Established 45 years ago, Casino Hide Tanners (CHT) was one of the first tanneries in Australia dedicated to the tanning of cattle hides for export and it’s recent modernised additions to the tannery have made it one of the larger installations in Australia, with the capacity to convert over 900,000 cattle hides each year.
Located in the Northern Rivers of NSW Casino Hide Tanners is devoted to processing cattle hides from green through to wet blue leather. Being located on the same site as Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd abattoir allows prompt processing which can mean technically better quality leathers for customers. Under a patented system, hides are identified individually enabling tracking of the origin and movement of every hide through slaughter and on to their final destination.
Upon arrival at the tannery all hides are fleshed and loaded into one of 24 tanning drums based on weight range and source. Each step of each drum’s process is carefully controlled and recorded to ensure that the final product will consistently meet the exacting requirements of CHTs global customers.
After tanning, hides are graded to strict criteria by trained and experienced assessors. Casino Hide Tanners grading structure has been designed carefully to provide consistent and accurate results, allowing for flexibility in order to meet a customer’s specific need.
Utilizing a state-of-the-art splitting operation CHT can also split hides to the customer’s pre-determined requirements. Modern computer systems, coupled with CHTs unique identification numbering, allows the opportunity for CHT to provide its customers with full data and complete traceability of their wet-blue hides, grains and drop-splits.
CHT is dedicated to close cooperation and long-term partnerships with their customer base and suppliers. Gold medal accredited by the Leather Working Group, CHT prides itself on continuous improvement and is committed to Quality and Safety, focusing on environmental sustainability and Waste management.
The Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd operates a tannery as part of its integrated processing service. Casino Hide Tanners is devoted to processing the Co-operative’s hides from green through to wet blue leather, as well as productions from other selected producers within the area.
ENVIRONMENTAL BEST PRACTISES
As a member of such associations as Leather Naturally and the Leather Working Group, CHT has maintained gold level status as part of audited accreditation under the group.
Located on the same site as the abattoir all hides are received immediately after slaughter and put directly into production. Rapid receipt and prompt processing can mean technically better quality leathers for customers. Under a patented system, each hide is uniquely and individually identified. This enables the tracking of the origin and movement of every hide, from farm of origin through slaughter and on to their final destination.
All hides are fleshed on arrival at the tannery, with weights prior to and after fleshing being carefully recorded. Using 24 tanning drums, hides are then loaded for de-hairing and eventual tanning.
After tanning, hides are graded to strict criteria under exacting conditions, by trained and experienced assessors. Damages to the grain of the hide caused by branding, insects, parasites and scratches are identified and used to determine the final allocation into one of eight quality categories. Casino Hide Tanners grading structure has been carefully designed to provide consistent and accurate hides which can be product specific for their potential end use, yet still allow for flexibility in order to meet a customer’s specific needs. Utilising a state-of-the-art splitting operation CHT then also split hides and, when requested side hides to customer’s pre-determined requirements.
Every drum load of hides is tested in an accredited laboratory for its various physical and chemical properties, ensuring that the high standards of its customers can be met and maintained. On completion of the production process and confirmation that all the physical properties are correct, hides are packed and labelled ready for shipment throughout the world. Modern computer systems, coupled with CHTs unique identification numbering, allows the opportunity for CHT to provide its customers with full data and complete traceability of their wet-blue hides, grains and drop-splits.
CHT prides itself on its environmental management practices.
Casino Hide Tanners
10615 Summerland Way
CASINO NSW 2470 Australia
Phone +61 (02) 6662 2444
Fax +61 (02) 6662 3391