Falling revenues and a contraction of the domestic leather industry is leading the UK branch of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists to look at alternative methods of attracting new members. Discussions took place at the SLTC annual conference held in Harrogate on September 14.

Delegates agreed to open up membership of the society to leather industry personnel in other countries not represented by their own society. Software is currently being installed onto the SLTC website to enable current and new members to join the society online directly from their office or home computer as well as by post. The future inclusion of the SLTC journal online was also discussed.

The conference took on a new format this year with the amalgamation of three events into one. The combined event saw a much greater participation of delegates and included a day of technical seminars followed by an evening dinner and dance.

This year’s Proctor Memorial Lecture was presented by Professor Jaime Cot, head of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Barcelona, Spain, and the current vice president of the IULTCS. Cot’s paper, entitled ‘Adding value to collagenic materials’, highlighted the latest research at the CSIC into the sustainable recycling of collagenic materials from tannery waste materials such as chrome shavings. Research has already indentified new technologies to recycle tannery materials into other useful byproducts such as chipboard laminates and chemicals for leather finishing.

Anyone wishing to join the SLTC or requiring further information should visit [http://www.sltc.org]

Annual subscription rates are £50 (US$75) surface mail (+£6.50 Europe or +£16.50 rest of the world).