AbstractA small Italian company has developed and patented a technique for colouring/painting leather in order to obtain a rich variety of decorating patterns with an excellent chromatic impact, a high degree of colour stability and resistance to wear out, all this reducing to a minimum the leather refining phases that are normally required. The company is looking for enterprises working with leather tanning or leather finishing interested to incorporate this technique to their process.
DetailsA small Italian firm has developed and patented a method for colouring/painting leather in order to obtain a rich and tasteful variety of decorating patterns with an excellent chromatic impact, with a long stability of the colours and with a high resistance to wear out. The final product has an original and catchy aspect, and the patterns' colours can have a special brightness, not otherwise obtainable on leather. The leather decorated by means of this technique can be used to produce clothes, footwear, bags, belts, interior decoration items (e.g.: sofas, armchairs, etc.), to dress automobile seats, etc.
Traditionally, the leather industry has always used aniline-based colours that are highly toxic liquid organic compounds. Starting from about four-five years ago, acrylic-based colours have also been introduced in this field, but there is a substantial difference between the compounds used in this technique and those specifically made for by the leather industry. In fact, the latter are pigments mixed with special bonding agents used to guarantee a good adhesion of the said pigments to the leather; they are diluted before being sprayed on the leather.
On the other hand, the actual technique successfully uses acrylic colour compounds produced for the decorative arts. These products are very environmental-friendly ones (they do not contain ammonium hydroxide, nor coalescent compounds), they are mushy and have a high density. Optimum chromatic results can thus be achieved and, if necessary, the colours can be strongly saturated. This is not the case with the industry's classical compounds that are normally diluted. This method has the advantage of reducing the number of finishing steps required by the leather processing cycle.
Not to mention the catchy artistic results, there are two outstanding elements that characterise this technique:
a) The decoration is made on tanned skins (of any origin, also reptiles or fishes) that are taken before the final phases of the classical leather finishing processes, the chemical ones. This gives a clear advantage in terms of working time and of economical savings, and it reduces the amount of pollution coming from the leather production cycle.
b) Environmental-friendly colours are used, based on special acrylic compounds that are not diluted, different from those employed nowadays by the leather industry. Furthermore, if these compounds are applied to vegetable-tanned and dyed skins, then the whole processing cycle gets the maximum degree of environmental compatibility, making it even more interesting, mostly for those countries and industrial areas that are especially sensitive to these problems.