Production Process

Nakara Leather Making process

Nakara’s entire tanning cycle, from procurement of raw skins to finishing the leather, is carried out at our own tannery. Raw cattle hides are sourced from abattoirs, dealers and local farmers all over Namibia. Game skins which are derived to our tannery by local farmers are predominantly Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, Eland or Hartebeest. These antilopes are an important source of meat for the local population, the skin is only a byproduct. The process of making raw hides into finished leather is a sequence of several interrelated operations with strict quality control throughout the entire production process.


This video explains the manufacturing process of leather at our tannery. Not all of the steps shown in the video apply to every article in the finishing process. Each of our different leather has a unique set of production steps!

Detailed production Steps in making leather

The majority of our bovine hides are sourced from abattoirs all over Namibia, however a substantial part is also brought to our warehouse by dealers and local farmers. Cattle hides and game skins are byproducts of the meat industry and find little other industrial use. The delivered raw material undergoes strict quality control!
Fresh hides and skins are immediately salted after arrival. This must be done quickly to prevent bacterial growth and decay, which usually begins approximately a few hours after the animal is slaughtered.
In this process, the raw material is being soaked in big rotating drums. The hair on the cattle hides and game skins is subsequently being removed by adding lime and a specific chemical mix into the drum. During the liming process, the water is being filtered and the hair removed. This process greatly improves the Effluent and reduces the COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand).
In the next step, the hides are going through a fleshing machine to separate the hide from excess flesh. After fleshing, the hide goes through various other chemical processes to prepare the hide for the tannage stage
There are many types of tanning methods. The two most common used are the chromium tanning and vegetable tanning. Chrome tanning uses a chemical method to tan the hide. This process is very quick and takes about a day to turn a skin into leather. At the end of the chrome tannage process, the hides have a blueish look, hence they are known as “wet blue”. Vegetable tanning is a natural process. This technique uses natural plant extracts and takes much longer than chrome tanning.
In this production step, the hide is fed through a machine that presses and stretches the hide, in order to remove excess water from the previous tanning process.
The hide is fed through a splitting machine. In this mechanical operation, the hide is divided into a ‘top grain’ and a drop split.
In order to achieve the desired substance for our customers, a small middle layer of the hide is being shaved off.
Retan & Dye
After shaving, the hides are placed into a stainless-steel or polypropylene drum. Syntans, dyes and fatliquors are added into the drum to obtain the required characteristics in color and softness.
Toggle (Drying)
Before the drying stage, the hide is stretched and excess water is being removed after dyeing. Subsequently the hide is clipped onto a frame, stretched and moves through a tunnel, where it is being dried at a controlled temperature.
Before the hide reaches the finishing stage, it needs to be re-hydrated and softened. The finishing process has many different steps and depends on each articles specifications and physical properties. Finishing consists of placing a series of coatings on the surface of the leather. These coatings are designed to protect the leather and produce surface effects pleasing to the eye and hand. Various mechanical operations are necessary to obtain the desired effect. Presses, printing, embossing, spray applications, buffing and hand buffing are a few of the machines used in the finishing process.
Measuring, Final Inspection & Dispatch
After all the previous production steps, the leather gets measured and undergoes a final quality inspection in order to meet our customers expectations and requirements, before being packed and shipped to our customers worldwide.
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