Workers handle the 'wet blue' skins as they arrive at the loading docks. Here men pass the newly arrived leather through a pressing and scraping machine that removes excess materials from the surface of the leather, and smoothens and presses it.
The skins are split to the correct thickness by being put through a machine such as shown that has knife edge which can accurately split the skin in crosssection.
Skins are then graded and measured. Measurement of processed skins is done using a special table that hasa computer controlled laser system which can determine the square footage of the particular skin and add the quantity to inventory.
'Wet blue' is the name given to the raw, unprocessed but prepared animal skins where chromium sulfate and other chromium salts are used. It is more supple and pliable than vegetable-tanned leather and does not discolor or lose shape as drastically in water as vegetable-tanned. It is also known as wet-blue for its color derived from the chromium. More exotic colors are possible when using chrome tanning. The chrome tanning method usually only takes a day to finish, and the ease and agility of this method make it a popular choice. It is reported that chrome-tanned leather adds up to 80% of the global leather supply.