Automation, Robotics and Computer Vision Laboratory (ARVC)
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Area yield improvement in the fabrication of leather, enhancing leather characteristics and diminishing enviromental impact

In the manufacturing of the leather raw material is purchased by weight, whereas the finished product is sold by area; therefore any permanent improvement in the area yield must be of considerable commercial importance considering that the value of the raw material account for 55-60% of the finished leather production cost.

The different processes in which leather manufacture is involved, mainly the drying step, determine the area obtained in the product. The methods currently used to improve the area are faced with the problem that mechanical leather characteristics are modified and deteriorated, and yield improvement is lost partially or totally in the finishing operations or in storage of leather.


  • Development of an appropriate mechanical device for stretching the leather and a watertight container, to carry out the thermal treatments and trials
  • Determination of the conditions of the water thermal treatment that gives maximum area yield (in many cases higher than 10% ) on standard leather fabrication
  • Adaptation of the processes of setting out, drying and finishing operations to the leather obtained with the new thermal treatment.
  • Checking all the chemical, physical, fastness and health characteristics of the leather obtained with the new thermal process.
  • Adaptation of the previous results to the manufacturing of the main types of leather, bovine, ovine and caprine, and applications: footwear, garment, leathergoods and upholstery.



WP LEADER: UMH. Div. of Systems Engineering and Automation (Department of Engineering)

Starting date: Month 3

Finishing date: Month 18


  • Design and development of a specific piece of equipment for the treatment of circular leather pieces.
  • Design and development of the appropriate sensing equipment for applying multidirectional stretch rates and measuring the developed tension during the different treatments.
  • Design and development of the computer interface required for storing and processing all the acquired data
  • Checking of the optimum treatment conditions found during the previous workpackage

INPUTS: Previous results on unidirectional behaviour of leather pieces and know how about sensing and signal processing systems.


  • Equipment for multidirectional deformation trials on circular leather pieces (Patented)
  • Information about the behaviour of different types of leather in conditions very close to those found in the industrial process. Influence of the selected treatments on the macroscopic properties of different types of leather.

Multiaxial streching machine


  • SME Participants: Tanners (Cutidos Marenostrum, Curtidos Gregori, Fenland Sheepskin Charles F. Stead and Co.) and machinery manufacturers (Fratelli Carlessi Spa)
  • RTD Performers: UMH. Engineering  and Food Technology Departments,  and  Leather laboratory of Lorca (Subcontrated by UMH). University College Northampton
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