What is leather?
Leather comes from the skin of animals and reptiles and the basic component is rawhide. If leather is not treated, it will become stiff and fall apart as it is biodegradable. It will also be attacked by insects and other creatures that find leather a tasty snack.
This means that leather has to be “cured” before it can be used for garment and footwear production.Many years ago the tanning process of leather often involved the use of smoke, as well as vegetable tannins, salt, urine and animal faeces or even animal brains. So this was a very smelly and messy affair, so most tanneries were situated outside towns.