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Training course on eco-friendly leather processing
Feb '12
Students on an undergraduate course at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies at the University of Northampton, England, have recently been given intensive training courses in finishing and wet-end processing run by staff from Stahl's laboratories in Waalwijk, The Netherlands.

The first was directed by Frans van den Heuvel who made a point of echoing the Institute's interest in environmentally friendly leather processing to help the industry meet today's priorities. The second will be directed by Jacques Daamen who will focus on retanning.

New finishing products, known by Stahl as “Hot Items” played a large part in the training given. These are real life collections of Stahl's newest products produced at the Design Studio by John Schofield to centre on the finishes that customers need to see, and at the same time supporting the ICLT's interest in commercial and marketing awareness. They show how lower grade leathers can be used to create high quality finishes and answer the eternal customer question, “What's New?”

The main objective of the course was to look to the future and, using Stahl products, give the students confidence in their future careers in leather finishing and marketing.

Tuition was given in the many facets of finishing, including accurate weighing of chemicals, hand spraying, embossing and plating for textures, and the production of leather for footwear, leathergoods, garments and automotive applications.

Typical of the tasks which were given was one in which the students were each given a piece of the same crust and asked to finish it to match a finished piece supplied as a pattern. After lunch the students were asked to make a presentation of their work to the group, describing what they had done to produce the finish and why.

Frans van den Heuvel says of this group of students, “They are a good bunch. Their enthusiasm can be measured by their frequent desire to ask questions and make suggestions. All of them are eager to learn and the tanneries who have sent them on the course obviously have great faith in them. This is further demonstrated by the fact that one or two of them are asking about the possibility of further training in Stahl laboratories during their University holidays.”

Among the twenty people on the course were representatives from Argentina, Germany, Holland, China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, India, Pakistan, Kenya, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Some had attended previous courses at Reutlingen.


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