matobo tanning

by zambezi tanners

expert craftsmanship

outstanding quality

masters of production

shoe uppers



Unparrelled quality

The many benefits of choosing Cattle leather


Cattle leather is widely recognized as a sustainable choice for several reasons. First and foremost, leather is a byproduct of the meat industry, meaning that using the hides helps to minimize waste. Instead of discarding the hides, they are transformed into a valuable material with numerous applications. This reduces environmental impact and promotes a more sustainable approach to resource utilization.
Furthermore, leather possesses inherent qualities that contribute to its sustainability. It is a highly durable material, known for its strength and longevity. With proper care, leather products can last for many years, reducing the need for frequent replacements and thus reducing overall consumption. Additionally, leather is biodegradable, meaning it can naturally decompose at the end of its lifecycle, minimising its impact on landfills. Using leather also brings various product benefits. Leather products are known for their timeless appeal and classic style, making them enduring fashion choices. Leather goods, such as bags, shoes, and accessories, are highly versatile and can complement a wide range of outfits and occasions. Leather’s natural properties, such as breathability and moisture resistance, enhance comfort and durability, ensuring a reliable and functional choice.


Perfecting the leather

The Tanning Process

Step 1

The wetblue hides are placed in large vats filled with water to remove salt, dirt, and any remaining flesh. This soaking process rehydrates the hides, making them more pliable and ready for further processing. The soaked hides are transferred to a drum or pit where they undergo a liming process. Lime and other chemicals are added to adjust the pH level, loosen hair and epidermis, and remove any remaining flesh and fat. After deliming, bating agents are applied to further remove any remaining impurities and to soften the hides. The hides are then dyed to achieve the desired color. Various dyeing techniques and colorants are used to impart different shades and tones to the leather.

Step 2

The hides are mechanically split into multiple layers, with the topmost layer retaining the highest quality grain surface. The other layers, known as split leather, are used for different purposes such as suede or split-grain leather. The grain surface is shaved to remove any imperfections, scars, or unevenness. This process ensures a smooth and consistent surface across the leather.During this step, the leather undergoes a retanning process, where additional tanning agents are applied to improve the leather’s properties, such as its strength, flexibility, and resistance to moisture.The leather is then carefully dried, this step is crucial to prevent the leather from shrinking and to stabilize its structure.

Step 3

The dried leather is conditioned to restore its moisture content and suppleness. Conditioning agents are applied to enhance the leather’s softness and improve its overall feel and touch. The leather is mechanically staked and buffed to achieve the desired thickness, texture, and smoothness. This process further enhances the leather’s appearance and prepares it for the final finishing. The final step involves applying various finishing treatments to the leather. This may include adding protective coatings, dyes, pigments, oils, or waxes to enhance its colour, luster, and durability. The leather is then buffed, polished, or embossed to achieve the desired final appearance.