As we have already seen in the previous article of our blog, the artisanal processing of leather requires a lot of attention and care and therefore we rely on many steps of processing.

We focused on the first two processes that leather must face, that of preparation and tanning.

After these two steps we move on to retanning and other intermediate operations until we arrive at the finishing.

The leather tanned up to here, as we read in the previous article, is not yet usable to produce articles. 

The leather must be subjected to further chemical and mechanical treatments: 

  • Pressing: thanks to this mechanical operation, most of the water that is present in tanned leather is eliminated. It is, in fact, a pressing that is carried out by crushing the leather between two cylinders.
  • Shaving of the leather: with this important operation the whole surface of the leather acquires a uniform thickness.
  • Retanning, dyeing and fattening of leather: all these operations are aimed at giving the first aesthetic characteristics to the leather, since it is attributed the chosen color, flexibility and softness. 
  • Drying of leather: as we have already explained in the previous article of our blog, there are various drying techniques and the choice between these depends not only on economic factors but also on the type of article that you want to get.
  • Staking of leather: this operation restores to the leather the softness that is lost after drying operations.


Finishing is the final operation, but also the most complex of the processes.

This is the set of all the operations carried out on dry leather. The aim of finishing is to improve the appearance and characteristics of the leather so as to enhance all the beauty and natural quality. This procedure eliminates all defects, both existing and workmanship, in order to guarantee the perfect aesthetic quality.


The finishing also consists in the application of chemical substances that form a sort of “film” on the surface, which must have different characteristics depending on the aesthetic result that you want to achieve.


The finishing of leather can be mechanical or chemical… let’s see in more detail:


Mechanical finishing of leather 

Mechanical finishing of leather can be done for:

  • Polishing” of the surface thanks to the use of a velvet wheel
  • Ironing and plating” for a flat, smooth surface
  • Pressing” with a relief plate (if it is intended to impress sign)
  • Bottalatura” by quickly rotating a dry bottale so as to obtain a moved surface.


The chemical finishing of the leather: it consists in covering the surface of the skin with a kind of film and varnish thanks to the use of rollers, glazers and sprays.

The ironing of the leather

The ironing of the leather: essential step to obtain a shiny leather

The leathers that, at this point, have received one or more applications of “protective films”, are ironed hot or with variable pressures in order to create a homogeneous and smooth surface both by sight and touch. The plates used to iron the leather can be heated for electrical systems or steam.

All the processing steps listed refer to a path that changes depending on the result you want to obtain. Although starting from the same point for all the processing of different articles, some leathers need to carry out more or less treatments than others.

This is, therefore, because some leathers, although starting from the same starting line, depending on the different paths of tanning, retanning and finishing, in the end are clearly different from each other and with different final prices.

Many of the operations that are part of the processing are optional, so the choice of the realization is made based on a matter of cost and the final result that you want to get for that particular article.

At Florence Leather Market we devote care and attention to every operation of the processing of our items, to ensure our customers a unique product that represents the Made in Italy quality in every detail!

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