How Moroccan leather is treated naturally to make leather poufs
Moroccan leather, also known as Moroccan poufs or Moroccan pouffes, is traditionally treated using a natural and centuries-old process. This process involves several steps to transform raw animal hides into durable, soft, and beautifully colored leather. Here's a general overview of how Moroccan leather is treated naturally for all Kenzadi brand leather products:
Selection of hides: High-quality Moroccan leather is typically made from goat or sheep hides. The hides are carefully selected based on their size, thickness, and overall quality.
Soaking: The selected hides are soaked in water for a period of time to remove dirt, impurities, and to soften them. This process can take several hours or even days, depending on the thickness of the hides.
Scraping: After soaking, the hides are removed from the water and excess flesh and hair are scraped off using a sharp-edged tool. This process is essential for preparing the hides for the next steps.
Natural tanning agents: Moroccan leather is traditionally tanned using natural substances derived from plants and minerals. One of the primary tanning agents used is the bark of the Mimosa tree (Acacia dealbata). Other natural tannins, such as those derived from oak bark or pomegranate, may also be used. These tanning agents are rich in tannic acid, which helps preserve the hides and give them their characteristic durability.
Tanning: The hides are immersed in large vats or pits filled with a solution of water and the natural tanning agents. The hides are thoroughly submerged and left to soak in the solution for an extended period, often several weeks. This allows the tannins to penetrate the hide fibers and bind with the proteins, transforming the hides into leather.
Drying: After the tanning process, the leather is removed from the tanning solution and washed to remove excess tannins. It is then stretched out to dry naturally in the sun or hung in a well-ventilated area. This drying process can take several days or longer, depending on the weather conditions.
Softening and conditioning: Once the leather is completely dry, it may undergo a softening process known as "pounding" or "kneading." This involves manually working the leather by hand or using tools to make it supple, flexible, and soft to the touch. Additionally, natural oils or conditioning agents may be applied to enhance the leather's texture and appearance.
Coloring: Moroccan leather is often dyed using natural pigments and vegetable-based dyes. Skilled artisans apply the dyes by hand, allowing the colors to seep into the leather and create vibrant, rich hues. This process can be repeated multiple times to achieve the desired color intensity and variations.
Finishing touches: Finally, the leather is cut, stitched, and shaped into various products such as poufs, bags, shoes, or decorative items. Skilled craftsmen add decorative elements like embroidery, embossing, or metalwork to further enhance the beauty and uniqueness of the finished pieces.
It's important to note that the exact techniques and materials used in the treatment of Moroccan leather can vary among artisans and regions. However, the overall process typically involves natural tanning agents, prolonged soaking and drying periods, and manual craftsmanship to create the characteristic softness, durability, and distinctive aesthetic of Moroccan leather by Kenzadi.