All the tanning processes go through these basic processes. They are important because they enhance and improve the transformation of skins and hides into leather. The preparatory processes include slaughtering of the animal, soaking, fleshing/ defleshing, dehairing, bating and pickling.
1. Slaughtering of the animal:
The leather preparation process begins with the killing or slaughtering of the animal. The skins or hides of the animal is peeled off or removed. This process is termed as Flaying. The pelt is hanged for the liquid in it to drain off. It is then dissolved in heavy salt or brine solution. This process is referred to as Curing. It is done to prevent the skins and hides from bacteria and other insect attack or decay.
The pelts are soaked in paddle vats filled with water added with chemical wetting agents. This helps in restoring some of the natural moisture lost during the curing process. It also makes the pelts soft and improves its aesthetic appeal whilst disinfecting it from further insect and bacteria attack.
3. Fleshing/ De-fleshing:
This is the removal of the excess flesh, fat and muscle found on the fleshy side of the pelts.