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Leather Research Centre, Karachi

After cotton and textile; leather happens to be the major industry in Pakistan, though awareness of this fact is limited to only a few. The production of hides and skins has progressively increased over the years due to gradual growth of livestock population and the growing demand of meat as a result of increase in human population coupled with rise in the standard of living. No doubt, tanning industry as such has made substantial progress. The number of mechanized tanneries has increased from the lone figure of one at the time of independence to 50 in the year 1984. At present they number about 500 located mostly in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Kasur and Gujranwala. Yet, another 200 tanneries work on the age-old methods of tanning without much recourse to mechanization. Vegetable tanning is widespread in the rural sector. Almost this whole panorama works without being in touch or sharing much in the technological advances made the world over in the field of leather technology. Research and development is a continuous process and should dovetail into the industry. Only then it can remain dynamic and competitive. To bridge the gap, the PCSIR has established a Leather Research Centre (LRC) at SITE area in Karachi. In fact a beginning had already been made in 1959 in the shape of a small leather section at the Karachi Laboratories of PCSIR. It has developed into the present Leather Research Centre in 1984.


Leather Technology Division

This division actively pursues R & D activities in the following major areas:      
Improvement in tanning technology
Reduction in cost of production.
Utilization of indigenous raw materials.
Meaningful use of tannery waste.
Introduction of low pollution tanning processes.
Chemical Research Division

This division undertakes R & D activities in the following major areas:
 Development of know – how for the manufacture of leather chemicals locally.
Environmental studies relating & tannery effluent treatment and their recycling.

Research Utilization & Extension Division

This division is engaged in activities in the following major areas:
To make pilot plant studies on the processes developed at the Centre.
Technical & job-work facilities to the leather industry.

Training Division

This division is working to design and conduct courses in leather processing technology as and when required.

R & D Activities and Achievements

  • Preparation of fat-liquors.
  • Phenolic syntans.
  • Aluminum tanning compounds.
  • Fancy leather from bovine stomach. 
  • Processing of various types of fish skins into value added leather.
  • Fashionable chamois, suede and fur garments leather
  • Aniline finished garment leather.
  • Shoe upper leather for sub-zero wet climate.
  • Upholstery leather from cow & buffalo hides
  • Recipes for various kinds of leather can be developed on request.
  • To develop clean leather tanning technology.

Following are the achievements of the Leather Research Center

Processes Leased Out:
  • Process for making Hat Band Leather for Berets:- To M / S Army Stores & Clothing Deppt, Karachi.
  • Process for making Fur Skins:- To M / S Army Stores & Clothings Deppt, Karachi.
  • Blended Babul Bark Tanning Extract:- To Kulaswadia Trading Co. Karachi.
  • Process of Sheep Garment Leather:- To M / S Asiatic Enterprise, Karachi.
  • Saddle Soap and Leather oil :- To M / S Fuqra Enterprise, Karachi.
  • Process and Formula of Zig Grain Leather:- To M / S Qureshi Brothers Tanners, Karachi.
  • Process of making Glue from Limed Fleshings and Hide Cuts:- To M / S Chemopack, Karachi.
  • Bacterial Bating Agent to M/S Ghani Sons, Karachi.
  • Process for making Curried Leather:- To M/S Inspectorate of Army stores, Karachi.
B.    Processes Ready for Leasing:
  • Manufacture of industrial gloving leather.
  • Process of flexible leather board from leather shavings.
  • High temperature shrinkage resistant biscuit coloured label leather for jeans and garments.
  •  Water resistant suede garment leather from goat skins.
  • Process of Chamois leather
  • Production of quality upholstery leather from cow and buffalo hides.
  • Fancy leather from internal membrane of bovine stomach.
  • Process for the preparation of fatliquor based on cotton seed oil.
  • Process of making snowtop fur leather.
  • Washable novelty leather from the internal membrane of bovine stomach.
  • Preparation of Turkey red oil.
  •  Preparation of high capacity emulsifying agents / softening agents.
  • Shoe upper leather for low temperature and wet climate.
  • Development of process to shave the skins prior to chrome tannage for better utilization for shaving and economical use of chemicals.
Analytical Facilities and Services

The leather Research Centre is well equipped to provide a number of facilities, which include:
A.   Processing Facilities:
  • Fleshing (manual / machine) .
  • Sammying/Setting out
  • Shaving ( Wet & Dry).
  • Trimming (Wet & Dry).
  •  Splitting.
  • Pilling.
  • Hanging.
  • Toggling ( Wet & Dry).
  • Vacuum Drying.
  • Vibration Staking.
  •  Buffing (manual / machine)
  • Embossing / Plating on hydraulic.
  • Finishing
  • Polishing / Stonning
B.   Analytical  Facilities:
  • Physical Testing:
    For example: Fiber Identification, Wet rub fastness, Shrinkage temperature, Bursting strength, Pigment application / quality etc.
  • Chemical Testing:
    Tests of water & wastewater

    Tests of Leather

    Tests of Allied Chemicals
    Leather Oils

    Chrome Tanning Materials

    Sodium Sulphide

D-102, South Avenue,SITE, Karachi-75700
Phone: 021-32586676
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