What Are Aldehyde Tanned Leathers?


Aldehyde skins are often referred to wet whites, a bit like a wet blue that’s chromium iii tanned, this is due to the nature of the tanning process. These skins are chrome free, so some car manufactures use it, as well as being used on children’s shoes.

What makes this so different to chromium iii tanning? Basically, it’s free of metal in affect, when skins are tanned, they are tanned using a mixture of glutaraldehyde or oxazolidine that reacts with the hide protein to prevent putrefaction.

Aldehyde skins can be very soft with its raw look being a white / cream look depending on the tannery and the process they use, with skins being very soft, they can easily stretch and damage as we have found from research the coatings are not as durable as a chrome tanned hide.

One of the main advantages of skins tanned using this process is that they can be washed by hand or in a machine, this is because the aldehyde chemicals can be combined with emulsified oils to gain that supple softness these skins have.

With these types of tanned skins formaldehyde used to be used until it was discovered this was harmful and extremely toxic and even carcinogenic. This was dropped from the chemical make for tanning the aldehyde skins and glutaraldehyde or oxazolidine were in the tanning process. Aldehyde chemicals can be combined with emulsified oils to gain that supple softness these skins have.

The only issues you have with synthetic dyed skins is durability, is that it’s not a very stable skin to weather conditions. Heat and water play a major role in causing damage to the skins.

Heat can cause shrinkage with this type of skin, so carry out repairs to the grain is a very difficult process as too much heat can cause skins to shrink further.

Same as using a wet towel to reduce shrinking this can cause the shrinking to become worse.

In the instance of a convertible roof car, as the interior getting is wet, this can lead to major issues with the skin shrinking and buckling up. Once this has happened there is no return, it can’t be repaired affectively, it’s a replacement job.

Hot summer days can cause shrinkage this is due to the chemically bonded water within the collagen fibre network getting too hot with the direct heat causing the skins to harden and become brittle. When this happens, they shrink beyond repair, and they must be replaced.

The painted surface coating on this type of tanned skin is very fine, it’s not as hard wearing as traditional skins that are chromium tanned, car manufacturers are using a great deal of it’s type of tanned skin for cars today to demonstrate a cut down on chemicals being used in materials they are using in cars to try to prove a greener outlook to people buying cars. But it comes at a price as they don’t last as long and are subject to damage easily compared to traditional tanned skins.


Wet White Aldehyde

Wet White Aldehyde Tanned Leather Skin



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