Nanai salmon leather – a sustainable alternative to exotic leathers
The Nanai were a tribe living in the east of Siberia, who made their garments from fish leather. The leather was produced in a traditional tanning method using vegetable substances and salt water. Based in Bavaria, the company nanai has taken up this traditional tanning process and following several years of research developed it into an industrial and environmentally friendly production process for nanai salmon leather.
How did you get to produce leather from salmons?
With a view to create value from a by-product of salmon processing, the idea of transforming “salmon skin” into superior, high quality leather using environmentally-friendly methods was born. The socially-conscious company had the idea that salmon skin could be a superior alternative to exotic leather and inspiration was found among the ancient Nanai of Eastern Siberia.
By working directly with the Nanai, the company is able to reconstruct and optimize the tanning process handed down for generations. And in the process, a valuable, ancient art was saved from oblivion.
What is special about salmon leather and how is it produced at nanai?
This process ensures that the natural structure of the salmon skin is preserved. The attention to detail and the uncompromising quality make nanai leather unique.
Traditional tanning techniques, combined with innovative, intricate technologies and stringent quality controls assure that the leather retains its quality, regardless of the salmon skin type or colour. Its appearance is quite similar to snakeskin in that it carries many of these qualities, but nanai is made entirely from organically farmed salmon skin.
Thus, in contrast to leathers from endangered species, one can enjoy it without guilt. In short, the possibilities are only limited by the designer’s imagination.
nanai leather is supplied as skins or by the meter as leather panels. The panels are available in all dimensions, upon specific request. The skin for the leather panels is carefully trimmed to a rectangular size and stitched to measure using exquisite craftsmanship to satisfy the most diverse design and style requirements.
The variety of products ranges from natural, mimosa and chestnut to 18 other colours. The leather is available in coated, hydrophobic and typical uncoated suede finishes. Our hydrophobic collection features water-repellent nanai leather in a suede finish. Individual colours and coatings are possible upon request.
Which role plays sustainability in the production of nanai salmon leather?
nanai has gone beyond raising the standards for eco-friendly leather. nanai has redefined them. Our holistic approach begins with the quality of the salmon themselves, which are raised on certified organic farms in Ireland in compliance with animal welfare standards. The skins we use are a natural by-product of this salmon industry, the fish are not specifically bred for their skin.
Then, instead of using harmful chemicals in the tanning process, we use a biodegradable substitute so there are no chrome and no heavy metals. Using this method, we ensure that the natural structure of the salmon skin is preserved.
What can you use salmon leather for?
Its extraordinary properties make it ideal for a broad range of products. It is now being used for jewellery, shoes, handbags and exquisite pieces of furniture. Its applications also extend to large decorative wall coverings and even upholstery for yachts, automobiles or private jets.
Where is nanai salmon leather available?
You can buy nanai salmon leather directly at Salmo Leather GmbH.
If you want to find out more about salmon leather, check the nanai-webiste.
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