Production at the Louis Schweizer tannery in Murrhardt, Germany, will end with loss of 98 staff and seven apprentices. The 136 year old tannery specialised in the manufacture of upholstery leather, mainly for the furniture market.

The ILP leather stock programme will be continued by Schweizer’s sales partner, Leder-Reinhardt in Pfullingen. The company are one of the most famous names in the German tanning industry and are still controlled by the Schweizer family.

In a press statement, the company said that even though substantial investments were made in the final years, the board of directors and management came to the conclusion that the production of finished upholstery leather in Southern Germany cannot be sustained cost-effectively.

Other reasons given for the closure include a lack of good quality hides and the cost of importing hides as a consequence of the BSE crisis in Europe. Furthermore the slow-down and structural changes in the international furniture business combined with substantial losses caused by the dollar exchange rate and diminishing US market. The US market was traditionally the most important market for Schweizer pure aniline leathers.

Despite all efforts and endeavours made, the board did not see any other way but to accept these facts and decided to close down the tannery.