September 2008

Alum Tawed Pigs

We are delighted to announce that after a break of nearly 7 years we have found a new source of pigskins suitable for the production of Alum Tawed leather. Our first batch has been finished and skins may now be ordered from us.

Alum Tawed Leathers are produced entirely in our tannery by a method combining the best of old traditions and modern machinery.

The skins used are "wet-salted" stock which means the skin from the animal is fresh but preserved with salt until required. The processes that follow are carried out in a revolving wooden drum which can have the liquors changed without removing the skins until the processing is finished.

The first stage is to wash out the salt, then the skins are limed to remove the hair and grease, this part of the process also swells the fibres and has the effect of separating them. When this process is completed, the skins are partially neutralised and subjected to an enzyme process which removes some of the unwanted proteins between the fibres.

The next stage is to acidify the skin in the presence of a large quantity of salt that prevents any acid damage. When equilibrium is reached this acid pickle is drained away and replaced with a mixture of salt, potash Alum and oil which is drummed into the skins for two days, after which they are removed and piled to drain. The skins are then hung to dry and piled to age for at least three weeks.

The finishing processes start by damping the skins again and straining them on frames to dry so that the product is now flat, the thickness is levelled off by fluffing the flesh side on an emery wheel and finally the skins are back boarded to soften them.

The natural white colour can be tinted if required to simulate the creaminess produced by age and the effect of handling.

Hewit's Alum Tawed Leathers are sold throughout the world and were used in the rebinding of the Domesday Book.

Approximate prices based on average skin sizes for white or cream skins:
Grade I - £234.00 per skin
Grade II - £186.00 per skin

(Prices are subject to shipping and VAT charges where applicable)

The Alum Tawed Pig may be ordered online by clicking here

Kaskad Paper

We are pleased to advise that we have added two new shades in our Kaskad range plain papers, increasing the selection to 12 colours

Singles - £0.83/sheet
25 to 99 sheets £0.50/sheet
100 to 499 sheets - £0.44/sheet
500 to 999 sheets £0.39/sheet
500+ sheets £0.33/sheet

These plus our other plain papers may be ordered online from our web site - Click Here

(subject to shipping and VAT charges where applicable)