NAKARA

TANNERY

Our vision

We thrive to be the leading manufacturer for state-of-the-art furniture upholstery leather in sub-saharan Africa. In doing so, we strongly focus on innovation and sustainability in our manufacturing process throughout the entire production cycle. From the arrival of raw hides at our doorstep to the last step of leather finishing.

Nakara Vision

14

different Raw Material

50

current Product developments

41

Years of experience

1

Tannery award winner

Nakara tannery manufacturing namibia

The Nakara Story...

Nakara Founder, Kevin Davidow, first opened a Manufacturing Factory in 1980 and later established a small tannery in the northern industrial area of Windhoek. In recognition of the impending political changes such as changing the country’s name from South West Africa to Namibia, he decided to call his business NAKARA, capitalizing on the association it would have with the well-known Swakara. In the beginning Nakara focused only on processing and manufacturing Swakara and other fur, such as fox. Over the years, Nakara shifted it’s operation into tanning bovine hides and game skins from raw stage into finished leather. Soon, the tannery was too small to meet demands and a new factory was built and taken into commission in 1990, the same year Namibia gained independence from South Africa.

From Raw Material to Finished leather

 

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 brought 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.

Our Customers

 

Furniture upholstery is our main export market for bovine and game leather. However, with growing demand for the most varied styles and finishes of authentic bovine and game leather, we export to customers all over the world who specialize in exclusive leathergoods and interior design applications.

How Leather is made

Tannery of the year Africa

Nakara’s entire production cycle, from procurement of raw skins to finished leather is carried out at our tannery in Windhoek. This makes Nakara unique in all of Africa.

Nakara Tannery of the year Award

Leather production steps

Procurement
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!
Warehousing
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.
Liming
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).
Fleshing
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
Tannage
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.
Samming
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.
Splitting
The hide is fed through a splitting machine. In this mechanical operation, the hide is divided into a ‘top grain’ and a drop split.
Shaving
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.
Finishing
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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Cattle hides & Game skins

We buy your cattle hides and game skins!

Please fill in the contact form and we will get in touch with you.

Our Commitment

In order to meet our customers demand in high quality leather, we constantly invest in the newest state of the art machinery as well as in more sustainable tanning solutions. Water used in the tanning process, is being treated by municipality standards before being discharged. Our Nakara leather is a result of years of experience, extensive research & development but above all driven by a passionate team who strive to meet the highest level of customer satisfaction.  

Leather Characteristics

Nakara sources it’s raw hides predominantely from Namibian abattoirs, dealers and farmers. In order to cherish the beauty and characteristics of natural leather, it is important to understand the living environment of Namibian free roaming cattle and game. Most of Namibia’s commercial farmland vegetation is made up of thorn bush savannah in which the cattle and game is grazing. As a result, scratches from twigs or thorns of bushes plus scars from barbed wire fences, tick bites or horn scratches are natural markings which are part of a cattle’s natural habitat. These scars typically heal over time but leave slight visible markings on the hide. These markings plus the cattle’s brand marks are not considered defects but the living proof of the leather’s natural origins.

Bovine Sylvana Ginger

Differences in Leather

To the layman’s eyes, leather seems to be uniform in character, however this is far from the truth as leather can vary greatly in look & feel, quality and performance. Choosing the right leather requires a certain understanding of the different characteristics of each leather type, which is influenced through its production process, starting by the quality of the raw hide. This determines into what article the leather will be made during it’s finishing stage.

Aniline is the most natural, soft and authentic type of leather and thus regarded as of the highest quality. Aniline leather can only be made from the best raw hides at the beginning of the production process. Aniline leather shows the true characteristics of leather such as scars, scratches, insect bites, fat wrinkles or growth marks. This type of leather has no top layer coating which allows the leather to breathe and thus ensures highest seating comfort. 

In contrast to full-aniline, semi-aniline leather is more suitable for applications where regular usage and exposure to direct sunlight play a factor. Semi-Aniline leather is the perfect blend of a more uniform look while still displaying the authentic characteristics of the leather although less obvious than of full aniline. The applied light pigment coating on semi-aniline leather ensures an even coloration without inhibiting the breathability of the hide.

Pigmented leather is most suitable for leather furniture with high use and high susceptibility for stains and blemishes. The applied layer of coloured pigments onto the surface provides with a uniform look with no natural markings of the hide. An additional protective topcoat is being applied over the pigment to ensure a better resilience to scuffing and fading as well as providing an excellent light resistance 

Corrected grain leather is for those who value the practicability of leather over the natural characteristics of leather. The natural grain of this leather tape is completely removed and covered with layers of pigment, protective lacquer, protective finish and finally embossed with an artificial grain to provide a uniform pattern. As a result, corrected grain leather compromises in softness and breathability. Although corrected grain leather requires the least amount of care, it also lacks the aesthetics and characteristics of natural leather.

Our Leather Selection

OUR SERVICES

Trophy Tanning

For hunters we offer the tanning of your trophy skins to international standards and reliable shipment to any destination.​

Knife sharpening

Taxidermists

For taxidermists we offer to sharpen your knives at our tannery.

Send us a message, and we will get back to you with all the information we can provide.

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