Tanning Hides Process, Quality and Innovation

At IC Markets International Ltd, we’re always innovating and looking for ways to improve quality for the tanning process.

Judging Skin Quality

Leather is resilient, but it loses that beauty and strength if it is derived from poor quality skins. Quality starts with the animal’s surroundings, feed, water, and shelter. Some skin defects will be visible on the live animal, while others are caused during tanning or processing.

Animals that live in areas with many ticks or grubs will have skins that show scars from parasites. If cattle grazed on harsher vegetation or terrain, their skins may show scratches or scars. Surface level scars are considered grain defects but do not affect the strength of the leather. Also, some cattle are branded and will have brand marks on their skins.

Skin can be damaged after it is removed from the animal. A slip of a knife can leave a slash in the skin that will only widen as the skin is tanned. If the machine that removes the flesh from the skin is out of alignment it may a series of gashes in the skin, called chatter marks, which ruin the skin.

By only sourcing our hides from reputable ranchers, IC Markets International Ltd limit the defects caused by poor animal health or faulty skinning.

The skin is then graded based on the overall condition. The grades range from #1 to #3. A #1 hide will be nearly free of defects; specifically, in center of the hide, which is where the highest quality leather comes from. A #3 hide will have many holes and defects and are not sold without consent from the customer.

The Tanning Process

Throughout the tanning process a skin is subjected to many different chemical and manual processes that may further damage a lower quality skin- leading to areas of the skin that cannot be used. Skins with grain damage may not weaken the skin itself but this damage will alter the look of the finished leather. The grain of the leather is what gives it a natural texture and if there are large areas where this grain is damaged this texture will not be as even as an undamaged skin would produce.

When you order any skin or hide from IC Markets International Ltd you can be assured that you will receive high quality skins. Whether your project calls for an incredibly soft sheep hide, a strong steer hides, or a cow hide - quality is paramount to us. If you have any other questions about IC Markets International Ltd’s products, contact us so that we can meet all your needs.

LEI Code 9845002EA584BE43A544
Company number 12061597
Established 1 May 1896
82 James Carter Road, Mildenhall, Unit A, Bury St. Edmunds, IP28 7DE – United Kingdom


LEI Code 984500657027C6BDA702
Australian Business Number: 99 815 916 855
Established 18 June 2000
14/114 William Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 – Australia

©2019 IC Markets International is a

Florida registered trading name of

IC International Group, LLC.


All Rights Reserved.