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Leather-Making Guides

At Leather Working Group, we champion shared learning and knowledge building across the leather industry. The resources below have been created by industry experts and are free for you to download and share. These resources are for public consumption only and must not be sold for commercial gain. We ask that the copyright of each resource is respected.

Leather: An Introduction

Author: Richard P. Daniels


This introduction to leather describes the versatility of this unique material, its natural origins, how it is made, and why its properties are so comprehensive.

Created for people who have little knowledge of this product, the details provided are supported by industrial images and clear descriptive diagrams. It is suited for those involved in the manufacture of leather items, for students new to the sector, and for general interest.

It enables comparisons with plastics, laminates and conglomerates of binders/natural materials - as long as their origins, composition, properties and environmental profiles are similarly detailed.

This document was subjected to peer review at the International Conference of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists, Northampton, UK, 2019.

Making Leather: An Overview of Manufacture

Author: Richard P. Daniels


Making Leather: An Overview of Manufacture, is a 10-Part study for people who wish to become leather technicians, and those who need more than the most basic understanding of commercial leather manufacture. It is intended for use and dissemination free of charge.

Created for self-training and distance learning within the global leather sector, it follows the processes and operations used, and their purposes, for making leather from bovine hides, sheep and goat skins.

The Information is set down clearly as a 30,000 word study supported by 300 photographs and diagrams from within the industrial environment. It is designed for use via smart phone, but also suits larger display within formal education for discussion or expansion by suitably qualified staff.

Peer reviewed, it is recommended by Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists (S.L.T.C.), The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (U.N.I.D.O.), and the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists (I.U.L.T.C.S.)

Modern Cow Leather Processing

Produced by: Leather Naturally  


The Leather Naturally guide to modern leather making has been written for anyone that wants to know more about leather. Are you a designer, developer  or student that wants to learn more about the process? A retailer or working in a consumer facing role and wants to understand the process behind this natural material better to help you engage with your customers? Or just someone that wants to refresh your knowledge?

Set out in clear, easy to understand terms it is an indispensable tool that covers everything from hide structure, through tannery processes, leather properties, control and best environmental practice.

CETP Issues

CETP Issues list
Date Recorded (last updated) Industial area / CETP Concerned Comments Auditor(s)
17 Jan 2023 TALCO Dingigul (Dingigul CETP) 

This CETP is functional with satisfactory compliance, demonstrated compliance to conditions of consent orders, during approved LWG audits undertaken November 2022. Approved LWG auditors visited the CETP and checked the manifests of the hazardous waste disposals as well as ensuring hazardous wastes are in secured storage before disposal. Currently there seem to be no issues. Need to monitor continuously.


Munusamy / Belaji Velu

17 Jan 2023 Vanitec CETP

During September 2017, the CETP (Vanitec) appeared in local media regarding non-compliance issues. This prompted the authorities to undertake an inspection at the site, only to find it was compliant. Additionally, an Approved LWG Auditor undertook an LWG CETP assessment in 2018 as a pilot case audit at the CETP. The reports were accepted. Further to this, there have been several audits undertaken by Approved LWG auditor at leather manufacturing sites connected to the CETP, and the CETP has also been visited on many audit occasions. The CETP seems to be operating well within the permit condition. Currently there seem to be no issues.



17 Jan 2023 Pallavaram Tanners Industrial Effluent Treatment Company This CETP was under expansion with additional tertiary processing and obtained an exemption for the discharge limits on TDS from the CETP. The TNPCB extended its permission until 31/03/2023. An LWG Approved Auditor recently visit the CETP in connection with an audit (Gemini Enterprises). The CETP seems to be improving constructively, currently there seems to be no issues.



01 Sep 2023 Savar and Hazaribagh area

LWG will not permit any audits to be undertaken in the area of Hazaribagh due to the relocation of tanners from this area,  Due to the ongoing problems associated with the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in Savar, LWG will not permit the auditing of any facility connected to that CETP. 

A facility located within the Savar CETP catchment that is not connected to it may be eligible for audit. The facility must demonstrate it has an independent effluent treatment plant of sufficient capacity for the treatment of the effluent produced and be able to provide test reports and records to show legal discharge of effluent and disposal of all wastes.

26 January 2022 Challawa, Sharada, and Bompai industrial areas of Kano, Nigeria

The reason for adding these areas as being of concern is an article published in EnviroNews Nigeria entitled “NESREA seals 12 industries in Kano, five in Adamawa, two in Kwara” accessible via It is understood that some tanneries have their own WWTP so it is not a blanket ban, only for those discharging to a CETP. Any proposed audit of a tannery in one of the three industrial areas indicated should first be approved by LWG.

16 February 2023 Gerede Leather Industrial Region (Bolu City, Turkey)

The region has resolved some of the issues listed previously from 2021 but is still working on the waste storage areas mentioned then. There does not seem to be any solution for all the issues, at least for the next 6 months (July 2023). The warnings remain in place.

13 July 2023 Unnao, Kanpur, India Closure notice has been issued for the Unnao CETP. No audit or certification of facilities will be permitted of facilities connected to the Unnao CETP until it has been shown to operating legally and removed from the lsit of concern.  

UNIDO: United Nations Industrial Development Organization

All resources are published with the concent of representatives from UNIDO.

Creating safe and sustainable supply chains: occupational safety and health course for the leather industry

Creating safe and sustainable supply chains: occupational safety and health course for the leather industry

A safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and right at work.

For twenty years, 28 April has been observed as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work to spotlight the need to prevent accidents and diseases at work.

This year, the United Nations is highlighting emerging occupational risks that may be caused by technical innovation or by social or organizational change, such as new technologies and production processes like nanotechnology and biotechnology, and new working conditions, including higher workloads, work intensification from downsizing, and poor conditions associated with migration for work.

28 April is also the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers, organized worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996 to honour the memory of victims of occupational accidents and diseases.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) promotes industrial safety and safe working conditions and, as a contribution to World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2023, has launched a new course, Occupational Safety and Health Aspects of Leather Manufacturing.

The leather sector is often leveraged in growing economies to create thousands of jobs. To protect workers in the tanneries, special care must be taken to raise awareness of the risks and hazards of the leather-making process, as well as a to make constant improvements in working conditions and safety standards.

UNIDO’s course is an interactive training that makes use of resources and tools developed by other organizations such as the Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community (COTANCE), the Leather Working Group, the Sustainable Leather Foundation (SLF), and the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies.

Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, Secretary General of COTANCE, said, “We want the appalling images of sub-standard tanneries circulating on the web to become something of the past...COTANCE welcomes the excellent training materials that UNIDO has developed.”

Deborah Taylor, Managing Director of the SLF, commented, “SLF is proud to work closely with UNIDO, to endorse and support this training, and to recommend that all leather manufacturers integrate the UNIDO online learning portal as part of their in-house training responsibilities for their workers,” adding, “This latest updated course ensures that the most current and relevant information and advice is available for all leather manufacturing facilities, free of charge!  There really is no excuse for lack of knowledge when it comes to ensuring safe and healthy workplaces.”


- The course: Occupational Safety and Health Aspects of Leather Manufacturing is available here 

- See also a guidelines publicationOccupational Safety and Health Aspects of Leather Manufacture


The UNIDO Handbook Ensuring Industrial Safety and Security

For more information on good practices in small-scale manufacturing as well as professional training and pollution control procedures in the leather, footwear and leather products industries, see the UNIDO Leather and Leather Products Industry Panel


Read the original text here.

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