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  1. #1
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    Default Italian wheel

    English wheels get all the love---that needs to change--starting now

    the little known, unheralded Italian wheel completes the leather making process

    hides from Hermes, Gucci, Horween are all enhanced following a session with the Wheel---



    Cilindro a gomma - Macchina per conceria: - YouTube
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0.jpg   097.jpg   453.jpg  

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    The tanning process has a whole slew of machines and routines that many leather workers never get involved with. All to take a goo'y animal skin and turn it into a super-dense slab of hard rawhide, then beat it up until it's the soft supple leather everyone loves.

    That roller has a ridiculous surface finish. One scratch and your employment status is history.

    The most we've ever done in that side of the leather industry has building a "boarding machine." It had two rubber roller that turned the same direction so you would put a hide of stiff leather folded in half between them and they would roll it over itself to soften it up. Small machine though with 4" wide rolls and a 1 HP motor. Nothing as large as the OP's.

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    Studying different tanning processes I especially remember plant tanning. Firstly, because the result is a hypoallergenic product, and secondly, this insole absorbs moisture released by the feet faster and more hygienic. In addition, the skin of plant tanning can be treated with oils and waxes in order to give it moisture resistance.

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    I forgot to add that usually at the end of the tanning process, the skin is thoroughly washed and dried and then subjected to final treatment with special oils and fatty impregnations, which are natural preservatives for any natural skin. This is how the vegetable tanned leather ends up on the shelves of stores and in the hands of tanning masters.

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    Not sure if Ben's trying to sell us something (down, DD! Down boy!), but I'll mention that the old-fashioned tanning methods left a lot to be desired. And a lot (of pollution) to be undesired!

    A town in Massachusetts that I used to work in, Woburn, was "famous" for contamination of the land and waters due to tanneries that were located there in the 1800's and later. Leather Tanning in Woburn

    There were several class actions lawsuits over harm to area children and property values, one court case even inspired a "based on fact" movie: A Civil Action (film) - Wikipedia

    So I'm very glad there are much safer alternatives for producing consumer-grade leather. Now we just have to make plant-based cows and pigs so we can start with their hides...

    [Yes, through some tortured logic one could claim that cows and pigs ARE plant based. It's why I justify loving bacon.]


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