Tannery industry: discovering the Italian excellence

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The Italian leather industry represents a globally recognized excellence: let’s explore the history and evolution of a sector oriented towards quality, sustainability and technological innovation, analyzing the latest developments in Italian tanning leadership.


The tanning history, myths and evolutions

The tanning of hides and skins has ancient roots: leveraging a precious by-product since prehistoric times, a durable, resistant and versatile material for creating clothing and objects was discovered. Embedded in the artisanal traditions of many civilizations, leather tanning has long represented an art passed down through the centuries.

From its origins, the sector has embodied the fundamental principles of circular economy, anticipating the concept of sustainability: from waste recovery to transforming hides into a new raw material, for creating products useful for everyday life.

Despite criticisms and misconceptions spread over the years, the tannery industry has evolved and streamlined its processes, developing production methods that are less environmentally impactful and making sustainability its new competitive frontier.

Today, modern tanneries employ advanced technologies to reduce waste and emissions, minimize the use of chemicals and optimize the recycling of effluents, through transparent certifications that ensure environmental compliance.

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The modern success of the Italian industry

Italy excels in the tanning field: the latest available data from UNIC (Italian Tanners’ Association) for 2022 indicates an active industry with over 1200 companies, generating €4.6 billion in annual turnover and employing over 18,000 workers. Italian leather production covers 65% of the European total, positioning itself at the forefront globally for high quality, technological innovation, and creativity in design.

The district model is a key element of this primacy: the three poles of Arzignano, Santa Croce sull’Arno and Solofra concentrate over 95% of the national export. In these districts, supply chains with unique know-how have developed: from automotive to high fashion, each with different specializations for the type of leather processed.

The strong focus on sustainability and traceability allows Italian tanneries to position themselves with prestige in the global market: iconic and renowned brands, from luxury to consumer sectors, choose the winning properties of “Made in Italy” leather every day.


The future machinery for leather tanning

To meet the growing market demands in terms of productivity, sustainability and traceability, tanneries require highly innovative machinery and software.

The new generations of machinery for tanneries integrate data acquisition systems and artificial intelligence for automated control of key process parameters: these technologies optimize energy and water consumption, minimize waste and pollutants, while enabling predictive maintenance analysis.

Furthermore, digital management of tanning production enables total supply chain traceability, crucial for the transparency required by brands and consumers: here Italian innovation competes at its highest, with customized solutions based on specific needs.

Efficient tannery machinery with low consumption, together with high-performing and modular software, represent the future of the leather industry, where traceability and sustainability progress hand in hand.

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GER Elettronica and Italtannery ambitions

Italtannery is an innovative network of Italian tanneries and companies, created to develop cutting-edge projects in the field of sustainability and traceability in the industry: it brings together the best productive excellences united by a passion for Italian quality.

Within the project, GER Elettronica represents the technological forefront on which the tanning sector relies to increase productivity and sustainability: our company designs automation and process control solutions for tanneries, along with industrial data measurement and analysis systems to ensure maximum performance in tanning.

The successful collaboration between the Italtannery players in the tannery industry creates a perfect combination of tradition and technological progress: an innovative model that renews Italian leadership in leather tanning internationally.

Contact us to discover the new 4.0 leather industry.