Metal-Free Combination Tanning with Replenishable Polyphenols and Marine Oil

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V. John Sundar
C. Muralidharan


In line with the resurgence of natural products in the global manufacturing industry, the leather industry is also relooking the increased use of organic materials. To exploit the benefits of the vegetable tanning materials and to couple with suitable organic material for overcoming the inherent shortcomings of vegetable tanning materials, studies were undertaken. Tanning materials like raw fish oil have advantageous properties to impart on leather such as softness, lightweight, and washability characteristics. Hence studies were undertaken on polyphenol-fish oil combination tannages.

The quantities of wattle and fish oil and process conditions were standardized. The study indicated that the oxidation of fish oil could take place in the presence of vegetable tannins. The leathers tanned by this combination tanning system could be converted into garment leathers of rich shades and possessed good strength and physical properties. Propelled by encouraging results, investigations were also made on the nature of interaction between vegetable tannins and fish oil with collagen. It was also observed that the vegetable tannins probably do not hinder the oxidation of oil. To sum up, the study leads to the development of a viable, versatile organic tanning system to gain eco-acceptability for the leather manufacturing process.

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