Platform for success - APLF Leather & Materials+

15 March 2017

APLF Leather & Materials+ opens its doors at Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on 29 March. The comprehensive three-day event, which expects to attract more than 1,100 exhibitors from across the globe, aims to be the complete event for the worldwide leather industry.

This time last year, economic and geopolitical circumstances adversely affected demand for leather, especially in China, with large stocks of low-grade materials languishing in warehouses. Turkey’s status as Focus Country at APLF Leather & Materials+ 2016 certainly highlighted the difficulties facing that nation, especially with the loss of its most important Russian market, but its pavilion presence on the main concourse shone a light on its remarkable skills, resources and commitment to leather.

Strength to strength

Despite those challenges, the show was deemed a success based, in part, on the increased quality of visitors with specific intent to do business. Plus, tanneries that specialise in leather for automotive and furniture were more capable of adapting to market situations, which also buoyed the success of the show.

Fast-forward to today, and with Lineapelle and Tanning Tech in February setting the pace in Europe, APLF Leather & Materials+ 2017 now picks up on that momentum and scales it up dramatically to become the global sounding-board for the overall leather market – from one end of the supply chain to the other – and serving it as a bustling, concentrated business platform.

All under one roof

Now in its 33rd edition, the show (formerly known simply as APLF) will once again be the complete event, integrating leather, components, materials – advanced and performance – as well as fashion accessories and the latest trends being dominated by active wear and athleisure.

The fair will also be strengthened by a series of fascinating satellite events to combine marketing, commercial, intelligence and educational activities.

Two annual trade conferences – Global Footwear Retail Conference 2017 and Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Conference – will take place again on day two. The show also offers other educational events to exhibitors and visitors including seminars like ‘Strategies for Building Profitable Brands’ and ‘Core Consumer Attitudes that Will Impact Retail Sales in 2017’.

Change with the times

APLF was rebranded APLF Leather & Materials+ last year in order to move with the changing ideals in manufacturing, most notably the increasing overlap between leather and other offerings, such as synthetics, accessories and components.

Leather purists continue to bristle at such trends, but when business is on the line, market forces tend to favour growth and competitive advantage over tradition.

The relaunch of the materials and components sector as Material+ is in response to the growing trend of athleisure/street chic and active-wear taking a larger share of the fashion sector, especially for millennials. There will be more demand for performance and advanced materials as used in athleisure footwear and clothing.

The phenomenal growth of this sector continues on all major continents and has to be satisfied by increased supplies of suitable materials and components.

Organisers expect more than 1,100 exhibitors from 42 countries and regions (including Uganda as one of the new exhibiting nations).

Who’s who

At least 16,000 professional buyers and technicians from the international tanning and manufacturing sectors will visit the renowned expo.

Having whetted your appetite for the event. please now turn to pages 33–34 for a partial list of the companies that will exhibit at APLF Leather & Materials+ 2017, where you’ll find out a little bit about each firm as well as where to find them at the show.  ?

Design Street at Fashion Access

New in Fashion Access for this year is the ‘Design Street’, an area promoting design creativity, mostly from Korea and Hong Kong. It showcases the latest collections of fashion accessories and small leather goods by young, upcoming designers. New this year are Asia Spot, L.T.L.Craftsman of J Motif Co., Alice Martha and General AD.

Hall 1A booth E30

Albany International Italia represents years of worldwide experience and knowledge built up thanks to close relationships with tannery OEMs and final users. Continuous research and development, and steady commitment in product engineering allow the company to be a worldwide leader in manufacturing felts for all the phases of the tanning process, from sammying, ironing and embossing, through to setting out.

Hall 1A booth E12

The Brazilian Association of Companies of Components for Leather, Footwear and Manufactured Goods (Assintecal), is a non-profit organisation that acts as an agent for change in the footwear components sector.

Hall 1B booth A33

Chimont International is a chemical industry providing innovative products and technical assistance to tanneries all over the world. The company researches and develops new technology, aiming to improve every step of the leather production process: tanning, retanning and finishing. A century of experience in this industry provides a measure of the degree of specialisation achieved by Chimont, which has proved to be an institution of the highest trustworthiness.

Hall 1B booth B34

CICB represents the interests of Brazilian leather around the world. By promoting, advocating and gathering efforts with several paramount partners, it aims to bring to its associates the best practices in fair trade, design excellence and eco-social industrial development in the leather sector. Its raw materials, technical excellence and pioneering sustainable practices marks Brazil out as one of the top international leather suppliers.

Hall 1A booth A01

CTC, which is a world-leading expert in footwear, leather and leather goods, assists suppliers, manufacturers and retailers in improving quality. Its expertise is constantly updated by a competitive intelligence system, and an annual research and development programme.

Hall 1B booth C12

Fuga Couros is a Brazilian company founded in 1947. A specialist in garment bovine leather for nearly 70 years, it now has more than 20 plants (five of which are tanneries), and is present in every kind of market – garments, upholstery, automotive, leather goods and shoes. It is a gold-certified LWG Tannery of Excellence.

Hall 1A booth F32

Gemata has operated in the tanning machinery sector since 1971. Its new models offer technically advanced innovations and solutions. It is a leader in the manufacturing of roller-coating machines and complete equipment for finishing skins, as well as synthetic and regenerated materials. Every model manufactured by Gemata. delivers the benefits of extreme manufacturing precision and high-quality materials.

Hall 1C booth B24

Heller-Leder makes the finest German leather, to the highest environmental standards. Its awards include Tannery of the Year 2011; Gold Rated (LWG), Blauer Engel (Germany); and German Sustainability Award 2013. It combines a modern production facility, environmental responsibility and high social standards to produce the most beautiful leather. Its product range includes high-quality upholstery leather, automotive leather and aniline leather for leather goods.

Hall 1E booth A02

Heng Long is an importer, exporter and manufacturer of fine-quality exotic skins. A modern tannery based in Singapore that specialises in producing top-quality leather from US, African, Australian, PNG and South-East Asian, and Central and South American alligator and caiman skins for luxury and fashion houses, as well as manufacturers of watchstraps, handbags, garment, footwear, upholstery and small leather goods. It is also the agent for KKLK ostrich leather in South Africa.

Hall 1A booth D12

Heusch produces blades and knives for the leather and fur industry. Main applications in the tanning process are fleshing and shaving. As the world’s number one supplier for these products, Heusch delivers to customers in 54 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. The company was founded in 1850 in Aachen, Germany, where it is still based. All products and solutions are solely manufactured in Germany only using high-class materials.

Hall 1B booth A21

Hüni is leader in the field of tannery machines (drums and paddles in wood and polypropylene), of automation for tannery process controls and of engineering/realisation of complete plants.

Hall 1B booth E12

Ongoing investment in technology, process standardisation, focus on strict quality standards and a privileged access to raw materials, make JBS Couros an important international leather supplier for companies that are looking for high production capacity, delivery assurance and the solidity that is needed for long-lasting partnerships.

With modern facilities allied to a global sales platform, it supplies quality wet-blue, crust and finished leather for the global automotive, upholstery and leather goods markets.

Hall 1D booth E29

Nick Winters Hides and Skins specialises in sourcing top-quality hides and skins from around the world. As a guarantee of quality, it only works with the largest industrial abattoirs and tanners in order to best satisfy all your raw and semi-finished leather requirements.

Hall 1E booth B01

UK-based Pittards’ range includes sheep and goatskin for sports, military and fashion gloves ranging from premium/technical to basic/functional.

It also produces footwear lining leathers and sells crust to global markets. Leathers are also offered for lifestyle and performance footwear uppers and premium leather goods.

Hall 1A booth C10

Located in Istanbul, Rota Kimya was established in 1976 to produce leather finishing chemicals. In 2000, it increased its production range with shoe and leather goods finishing chemicals,

and then with water-based adhesives in 2014. The company also produces special products in order to meet its clients everyday needs and is constantly developing new products in response to market research.

Hall 1E booth A01

Scottish Leather Group Limited is the largest manufacturer of leather in the UK. It comprises four leather manufacturing subsidiaries and a technology company, all located in west Scotland: Andrew Muirhead & Son; Bridge of Weir Leather Company; WJ & W Lang; NCT Leather and SLG Technology. Its specialist leathers are produced for a wide range of industries, including automotive, furniture, marine, aviation, shoes and leather goods.

Hall 1B booth F31

Established in 1968, the company specialises in lambskin doubleface shearling and is the world’s largest tanner of Spanish Merino, Toscana and Tigrado skins, with a capacity of over six million square feet a year. An extensive variety of colours and finishes for suede side and wool side, designed by its international team, aims for the high end market. It is also a leading exporter of shearling garments, with a capacity of more than 60,000 pieces a year.

Hall 1A booth B02

As leading specialist in chemicals for leather products and performance coatings, Stahl understands the importance of taking responsibility throughout the supply chain. Stahl believes it is its obligation to create a more sustainable future. Together, we can use our innovation power to reduce the impact on the environment at every level in the supply chain. To successfully take this shared responsibility requires knowledge, which is why Stahl started Stahl Campus. With this training institute, Stahl strengthens the knowledge regarding product procedure, responsibility and safety, while simultaneously helping partners grow their businesses in a sustainable manner.

Hall 1B booth C01

Tanac is the largest mimosa vegetable extracts producer, serving more than 75 countries, and is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and FSC-certified. It is constantly investing in the development of its technology. Its concern for the environment and for sustainability is demonstrated by its carbon footprint, where for every ton of carbon dioxide it creates, ten is removed from the environment.

Hall 1A booth C20

Tecnochimica specialises in resins, oils and fatliquors, auxiliaries for liming, and dyes. Its objective is the development of research and quality, ensuring highly reliable finished products. High flexibility enables it to be prompt in product distribution, technical and commercial assistance. Tecnochimica operates in the main Italian and international markets.

Hall 1A booth D02

Union Leather has worked in the leather market for more than 20 years, approaching buyers and suppliers from Brazil and other South America suppliers in Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. It supplies wet-salted buffalo and bovine hides, wet-blue hides and semi-finished and finished leather for handbags, shoes and upholstery products.

Hall 1D booth B15

USHSLA is the exclusive representative of the US hides, skins and wet-blue products industry. Member companies include meat packers, hide processors, brokers, dealers, and exporters, as well as tanners, equipment manufacturers and other suppliers of goods and services to the hide-processing and marketing industry.


APLF was rebranded APLF Leather & Materials+ in 2016.
APLF brings together the tanning and manufacturing industries.
Attendees get to experience cutting-edge materials.

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