Leather dyeing: when technique, style and sustainability come together


Leather dyeing is completed between the wet phase of tanning and the dry phase of finishing: colors, shades and reflections of the leather are not only the result of a very elaborate technique but also of style choices that meet the demands of customers and fashion trends. All this while keeping sustainability in mind.

Leather dyeing is a process of tanning that represents the intersection between technique, style and sustainability. On one hand, the final color, as well as reflections and shades, are obtained by subjecting the leather to various treatments. On the other hand, the choice of colors is never random but responds to precise needs, moods and trends the world of fashion dictates. To achieve a quality result, Superior pays special attention to the sustainability of the process.

During the wet processing phase of the leather, the first layer of color is applied. After tanning and retanning, which are essential to make the leather hygienic and durable, the leather is dyed in the drum to determine the base color. Inside the drums, the hides are immersed in high-temperature aqueous solutions with water-soluble dyes: this first “rough” operation allows the color to be absorbed into every layer of the material in a uniform manner. In particular, retanning, dyeing, and the subsequent Oiling phase form a solid base for obtaining a quality final article.

Then, in the leather finishing phase, or the “dry” part of the process, the final characteristics of the product are outlined with greater precision, those that most of all will make it valuable and appreciated. These include the general appearance, the consistency, the “warmth” to the touch, the softness, the brightness and, obviously, the final color, with all the desired reflections and shades. Sometimes, the process is completed with the addition of special processing on the surface to obtain a glitter, shiny, suede effect or to highlight the grain of the leather.

In addition to some timeless colors, every year the palette of Superior’s collections is enriched with new entries. The choice of colors for leather dyeing draws on the international trend books that define the mood from one year to the next. Starting from these basic ideas and musings, our tannery works to obtain a customized color chart, which is in line with the spirit of the maison and the proposed collections, mainly oriented to classic and fashionable styles. 

In the elaboration of the proposal FW 21-22 that we showcased like haute couture, Conceria Superior has studied a range of colors that already references the Spring Summer collection. We start from the basic colors of the season: goose beak, cyan blue, burgundy, forest green and black, the timeless protagonist. These are joined by a series of more “dusty” and less bright nuances for spring, such as beige, salmon pink and light sage. 

Always keen to make the tanning process as sustainable as possible, Superior is looking to replace elements of fossil origin, both to reduce CO2 emissions and to increase the rate of biodegradability of products. Great attention is also paid to wastewater. In fact, we aim to completely empty the tanks and to recycle the water during drum dyeing. The wastewater that ends up going to the purification plant never hits the maximum parameter

A complete manufacturing process, enriched by artisan knowledge. Constant attention to the needs of luxury maisons to meet the most classic and fashionable styles. A modus operandi attentive to environmental impact, to help leave a better world to those who will come after us. Every color, dye or shade chosen for Superior leathers represents a unique combination of technique, style and sustainability that shapes our daily work.