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To work efficiently, it’s best for an exotic tannery to operate with several organized departments:

1) Wet department – This area is where skins can be put into batches for processing. They are weighed, clipped, and recorded before they are put through the tanning process. This area should have a lot of extra space for expansion. While a number of activities can go on in here, the best tanneries have separate wet areas for tanning and coloring.

2) Storage/Holding Areas – Plenty of room should be available to store skins during the tanning and coloring process.

3) Chrome Capture – Chrome tanning is how most exotic hides are produced, therefore it is only logical to recover the materials before mixing them with other streams.

4) Chemical Storage – A wet-proof chemical storage area is absolutely crucial for any safe and professional exotic leather tannery.

5) Lab – A lab to ensure controls and balances in chemicals and processes for tanning is necessary. A lab is also used to measure dyes and other chemicals that must be precision-weighted.

6) Dust Prevention – Ventilation is crucial for a tanning facility, but so is dust control. Dust can ruin a hide during the tanning and finishing process, so it is crucial to have proper air filtration to keep the air as crisp as possible.

7) Drying Facilities – Dried skins are stretched and kept an a clean environment to remove the risk of dust contamination.

8) Mechanical Shop – With a tannery producing high volumes of material, they will require equipment maintenance from time to time. This area is storage and a “working” area for equipment requiring maintenance, upgrading, or repairs. Typically this are is found in the largest tanneries.

9) Shipping – Lots of space is required here; this area is where skins go through final inspection for standards. They are categorized, labeled, weighed, sized, and stored before they are shipped to the customer and/or broker who has purchased the skins.