Choosing the Right Abrasive Product for Leather Fabrication

Leather, as a natural product, is animal hide that has been preserved through a process of tanning. The natural fibre structure is retained as much as possible. During processing, a distinction is made between the grain side and the reverse side.

When leather is sanded, the leather top surface (grain side) or the reverse side (flesh side) is pointed or polished using abrasive paper that rotates on a roller. The aim of this processing is to achieve a uniform appearance for the material.
When the top surface is sanded, it gains a slight nap. When processed in this way, the leather is called nubuck leather.
The grain side can also be sanded to form smooth leather, or its structure is preserved as much as possible. One typical example is crocodile leather. The reverse of leather is used to create suede through sanding, and this is also known as velours.

AWUKO's assortment of coated abrasives includes an extensive selection of abrasives designed for leather processing.

Nicole Pinne-Wandmacher

Right Choices Matter –What is the Right Choice for Your Operation?

Abrasive products come in various levels of performance, which Awuko conveniently labels "good," "better" and "best."

Metal grinding from raw to fine

Which should you choose? Your choice involves balancing the results you want with the cost you're willing or able to pay. If initial price is your primary consideration, choose good abrasives, but be aware that a lower purchase price up front may not end up being economical in the long run. When you're running high-productivity applications and have to keep initial abrasive prices in mind, it's time for better abrasives. Consider the best abrasive products when maximum productivity and lowest total cost are critical to your operation.

Surface treatment such as grinding - blanching - dry folding

If the leathers are replaced by e.g. mechanical softening (studs) thus soft inside and freed of tension, it is now the surface to edit and adapt to the ideas of the processor and the consumer. The surface can be formed from both the scar and meat sides. Since a uniform design of the scar side is only possible if the meat side is clean of connective tissue and loose fibers, the operations are to be considered first, in which something is taken away from the leather. Later, the term dressing the operations are summarized in which something is brought into or on the leather. Grind:

The grinding of the suede leather gives these leathers a very special character. The fibers on the surface are cut to a uniform length with the sharp edges of the abrasive grains. The finer the grain, the shorter the cut. The suede leather types Velor and Spaltvelour are ground on the meat side in several passes with ever finer grain size. In Nubuck, the grain side is sanded very fine and velvety. The grinders allow the leathers to be pressed with an adjustable pressure against the very fast-moving sandpaper-coated grinding roller, while a transport system ensures that the entire surface is processed evenly. The cut leather fibers form as a dust residue on the leather, which must be removed. Brushing is insufficient, as the fine dust remains underneath and between the fibers. Modern blown air dedusting systems solve this problem, but mean a further operation.

Find the right grinding tools

Even with some types of scar leather, the grain side is easily sanded before dressing. This should z. B. after a pasting drying remove the adhesive residues or allow a better anchoring the dressing. In this case, only so little is removed that the pores in the scar surface can still be seen. The most common type of leather that is sanded on the scars before dressing is the sanding box.

In vegetable-tanned leathers, the temperatures of the leather surface resulting from grinding may have an adverse effect. Here you will prefer a chip removal by a cutting process. The Trockenfalzen would be such an operation. Blanching is known especially for vegetable-tanned leather. This folding-comparable process allows only low depths of cut, because the spirally arranged knives are arranged only in one direction. The blanched leather surface shows no traces of processing. The folded surface shows a pronounced strip in the machine direction.