Wax nubuck

This model of footwear "Loints of Holland" is made of high-quality "wax nubuck" leather , which is produced by the German factory "Lederfabrik Heinen". This factory for 127 years makes from the skins of animals magnificent leather for haberdashery and shoemakers.

The web-site of the factory http://www.heinen-leather.de with the help of 6 videos in detail tells about all the stages of skin processing and leather production. On this page we offer an illustrated story about the process of manufacturing wax nubuck leather. All the photos that you see here are taken from the official site of the factory "Lederfabrik Heinen".

By its properties, leather is a unique natural material and today does not have a full replacement of synthetic materials.

Wax nubuck leather  is obtained after a long processing of the skins of bulls and is a by-product of the production of meat.

The factory "Lederfabrik Heinen" buys the cooled skins of animals in the slaughterhouse. First of all, high-quality raw materials are needed for the production of wax nubuck leather.

First of all, it is necessary to restore the natural water content in the skin to 65%. To do this, the cooled raw material is placed in a barrel and filled with water. The barrel rotates together with the raw material, and the skins are cleaned of dirt and saturated with water.

Lime is poured into the barrel to remove the natural fat from the skin. Sodium sulfite is poured into the barrel to remove hair from the skin surface. In this liquid, the skin is aged for 36 hours.

The subcutaneous connective tissue is removed mechanically from the skins.

Then cut off all that is superfluous: tail root, navel, kneecaps and other unwanted skin parts. At the same time, no waste is formed, since all the cut off parts are the most valuable raw material for the glutinous and gelatinous industry and are processed.

Now  need to remove the lime particles left on the raw material. If this is not done, the finished leather will be stiff. Therefore, the prepared skins are again placed in a barrel and carbonic acid is added.
To make the skin fibers flexible, enzymes are added to the barrel. The enzyme-treated leather becomes soft, viscous and smooth.
After that, the skin is almost ready for tanning, but in order to proceed to this responsible process, the pH PH of the acidity of the skin on the entire cut should be approximately 3. To achieve this, an acid-brine solution is added to the drum in which the raw material is before reaching this value.

Only now the raw material can be tanned. Tannage is carried out in rotating barrels and lasts 20 hours. The salt of trivalent chromium is added to the barrel. Chromium molecules penetrate well into the skin.
The skin of chrome tanning perfectly resists the action of water and putrefaction, while remaining soft and flexible: its pores remain unfilled.

After tanning, the very wet leather is dewatered on the wringer.

The raw material is then sorted and stained. 

The skin is again placed in a barrel and dyes are added to achieve the desired color. An experienced master mixes the dyes to obtain the desired color with a large color palette. High quality leather of factory "Lederfabrik Heinen" is recognizable, as the dye stains the skin throughout the cross section, and the cutting edges have a corresponding shade of color.

Now the leather is impregnated with hydrophobic fats. Impregnation with fat makes the leather soft, gives water-repellent properties, and prevents its impregnation with water. As a result, the leather fibers become hydrophobic, but the leaher does not lose its air permeability.

In the next step, wet skin is wring out again,

On the stretching machine, the skins are smoothed and pulled apart on the grain side with a blunt knife cylinder. This smoothes the leather surface and at the same time dehydrates the skin.