Chrome Tanning

Submitted by Leather Neck on 01/07/2003. ( )

I have done some searching and found little information on chrome tanning compounds on this site. I am curious to know if Taxidermists / furriers are using such systems. The Syntans I've seen mentioned (Lutan, quick-tans, etc) and other Mineral Tans (Alum) are without a doubt excellent choices, but the merits of chrome tannage is also worthy of discussion. Seems the Green Movement (Environmental Groups) have given the leather industry a stigma by pumping ill-informed information to the public in the past years about the use of Chromium compounds. What are some of the members' experience and opinions about the use of Chromium for fur processing applications?

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how much info ...

This response submitted by b. bishop on 01/07/2003. ( )

do you have on this tan ? I have a pamphlet on it that is quite thourough if you are interested , I would send you a copy. I cut my teeth on this tan and can tell you that it is not the tan you are looking for for furs or soft furs anyways. The leather comes out greenish and very tight with little or no stretch. Good however for strong leather if you don't mind the color. I have also done a chrome tan followed by a quebracho dye/tan and made very strong, nice leather.

Chrome makes an excellent tan!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 01/08/2003. ( )

Chrome is an excellent tan! It's used for almost all of the garment and shoe leathers we manufacture - and it holds up well on repeatedly being soaked and dried. Actually - every shoe we wear is Chrome tanned. It's strong, very durable and lasts indefinitely! However - for Taxidermy purposes - where stretch and some very small amount of shrinkage is desirable - it is not a good choice.

The original Chrome compounds when first introduced were a simple Chromium Sulphate compound - that once diluted formed into metallic salts that were very polluting and caused some serious problems. However, the newer compounds, the ones now offered, are different (with different chemical valences), and instead of metallic compounds - form salts of these metallic (chrome) materials. It is not the same chemical. However, the EPA in its wisedom, has deemed that any chemical containing Chrome - must be polluting and as such, must be treated as a hazardous waste. I disagree with their descision, but I must also comply with it. In the meantime - the cosmetic industry continues using it in lipsticks!

Chromatan FM is used....

This response submitted by David Crookall on 01/08/2003. ( )

on some of the nicest fur skins going into the fur coat market. Several applications are used. They are,but not limited to, 1)- after Lutan FN; 2)-with bleaching syntans like Basyntan DLE; 3)-after treated with Basyntan DLE or other bleaching agents like Bleach-it.

The choice depends on the skins to be tanned, how they are to be used, the furriers ability to exhaust all the chrome tan, the ability of the furrier to precipitate a powdered waste for proper disposal in a dry landfil. Most garment tannages are not based on getting a lot of stretch, as are taxidermy skins, but should be tanned so as to get softness with "run" characteristics.

Of great importance are the oils used for fur skins. When chrome tans are used, the character is different than straight Lutan FN or Syntan tannages. The oils are designed to specificly work with the chrome tannage so that they "fix" well to the skins and tannage.

SENTRY/Custom Services has been distributing the above mentioned BASF products to the Fur, Leather and Taxidermy industry. We have designed and developed our own quality line of "wet end" products, with our experience going back over 50 years. Need further asistance or just want to kick some ideas around, call us at 1-800-868-1454. Or E-Mail us. (see above) Web sight is

God bless. Dave


This response submitted by Leather Neck on 01/08/2003. ( )

Thank you Bishop, Mr. Rittel, and Mr. Crookall for this nice collection of information. It's always a pleasure to associate with people knowing well about their Industry and Art.
Another thing worth mentioning is a very strong point that Mr. Rittel has brought up. The EPA (DEQ) has in fact been basing a lot of its regulations and enforcements on old, outdated volumes kept on the leather industry going back many, many years ago when the notorius Hex-Chrome was being widely used for leather processing. As said, the 'new' chromium that is being used has a different electron structure (trivalent) making it a much safer, enviro-friendly tanning agent. Seems politicians should take a course of two in basic chemistry. In Europe...this is getting so ridiculous that the Green Movement is out to make a total ban on Chrome tanning compounds forcing tanners to switch to substances that in fact do more damage to the environment than. Not to mention some of these 'chrome-free' special systems are known for making high concentrations of Formaldehyde remain in the leather! These chrome free systems also make a rather crappy product from what I have seen.
Go figure.


This response submitted by Leather Neck on 01/08/2003. ( )

Topic above is for LEATHER....not fur.

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