A Visit To Tannerie Limoges - a Historic French Tannery

The historic French tannery specialized in lambskin tanning is an example of passion and know–how.

For over 70 years, this facility has been a beacon of excellence in the tanning of plongé nappa leathers; a local traditional technique at risk of extinction. 

Rather than a mere production site, the Tannerie has represented a benchmark for the local communities, which supplied nearly all the workmanship employed at the factory.

In 2014, the acquisition by the Prada Group introduced the tannery into its direct supply chain, allowing it to rely on a stable production. An important process of requalification of the existent structures and renovation of manufacturing facilities contributed to the full recovery of the activity of the Tannerie and the reemployment of several specialized workers with a valuable 10 to 20-year experience in the field. 

According to the Tannerie’s artisans, leather is a living material; it must be worked respecting a delicate chemical and mechanical balance controlled by skilled hands that comprehend and enhance its specific characteristics, such as softness, touch and colour rendering. An irreplaceable know-how that could not be substituted by any machine.

The marriage between artisanal experimentation of the tannery and organizational structure of the Prada Group has also been beneficial to the young employees who joined the masters in charge of handing down the fine techniques mastered over a longstanding activity of professional excellence.

The Tannerie produces plongé nappa leather starting from a previously tanned semi-finished product known as Wet Blue. The entire 3-week long manufacturing process begins with shaving and thinning to achieve an even thickness of the surface.

This first stage is followed by an intermediate quality control that allows proceeding with the wet dyeing, after which, only the items that comply with the standards go into production    

The process of wet dyeing last about 48 hours
Leather shaving machine

Perching is the following step, carried out through a machine that softens the leather and increases the roundness of the material.

Subsequently, the leather is further thinned and shaved to obtain the required thickness and it undergoes de-dusting and trimming, to define the edges.

The spraying then provides shine and protection, ensuring the complete maintenance of the quality of the material.

Heat pressing represents the final stage of the production.

Meticulous final quality controls and measuring certify the excellence of every single inch of leather.

Final quality controls and measuring
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