It took a long time for the leather industry to adopt the chrome tanning process as the standard way of transforming hides and skins into leather. Historically, there was a lot of suspicion and resistance before the whole leather industry moved across to this new form of tanning.

Currently, the move from chrome tannage to wet-white is facing a similar transition. This time, the main reason fuelling the change to chrome-free tanning is essentially environmental, but as the new alternatives do not offer additional advantages in terms of leather quality, productivity etc, the speed of this change is relatively slow.

Although the demand for a chrome-free tannage is growing in the market, limitations such as low shrinkage temperature, free formaldehyde indices, tendency to yellowing and unevenness of physical properties, are preventing wet-white leather becoming the standard.

Metal-free tanning

To overcome the more significant of these difficulties, Colorantes Industriales have developed Eurosintan MF, a multi-functional polymeric complex that is 100% organic. The product has been specifically developed for metal-free tanning and retanning and is very versatile and easy to handle.

Many advantages of tanning with Eurosintan MF can be cited, starting from its adaptability to classic tannage systems. The tanning process is easier and processing times are similar to, or even shorter than, chrome systems. Pickling may not be as strong as in metallic tannages, saving both time and salinity in the tanning float.

With Eurosintan MF, the wet-white leathers will result in clean and intense hues in dyeing, even in pastel shades that are difficult to attain from wet-blue. Moreover, intense dark tones that usually require large amounts of dyestuff can be obtained with significant savings in the offer, up to 20-25% less.

The penetration of dyes is fast and uniform, even for thick leathers. Post-tanning operations are straight-forward with the Eurosintan MF system as it is not necessary to rest the leathers after sammying and before shaving. Compared with wet-blue, these leathers do not need this rest to attain complete levelness.


Tanning with Eurosintan MF makes the substrate very versatile. The same basic formulation can be used for a wide range of different leather articles. This means that the tanner can hold a stock of wet-white leathers to meet the growing demand for a fast and reliable service at a minimum cost.

Other interesting characteristics include the light weight of Eurosintan MF leathers, thanks to its organic nature. Also as a result of this specific characteristic, the behaviour towards fire is especially good as no ashes are produced and the leather is easily extinguished. An increase in the physical resistance of the leathers compared with classical wet-blue has also been observed.

The environmental impact on solid wastes is minimised due to the absence of metal in the shavings, and a further advantage is the leathers’ low free-formaldehyde content. Leathers tanned with Eurosintan MF can be easily washed thanks to the product’s stability and the low drain of the tanning agent once it has been fixed.


Eurosintan MF can also be used as a retanning agent for wet-blue leather. The product can be used to obtain clear shades and white leather, and the physical properties of the wet-blue can also be improved. In this case, the benefits of wet-white can be seen when compared with chrome retanning.

The retannage of wet-whites produced with Eurosintan MF can be achieved without significant differences to normal procedures. Normal resinic and phenolic retanning auxiliaries can be used as filling agents. In the fatliquoring, the use of Colorantes Industriales’ range Eurosintetic LW will ensure deep and high lubrication properties while keeping a very good performance during drying and providing optimum results in terms of handle, evenness and overall physical properties.

The Eurosintan MF tanning system is intended as a profitable replacement for chrome tanning as the standard method of leather production and meets all environmental, quality, productivity and safety guidelines.

Continued Expansion

Colorantes Industriales were founded in 1983 and initially produced dyes for leather and textiles. Until 1996, the company focused exclusively on the domestic market. Today, exports account for around 60% of total sales, worth e16 million per year. Around 90% of the company’s production is leather chemicals with the remaining 10% for textiles and paper.

As the international market becomes ever more important, Colorantes Industriales have established companies in the world’s key tanning regions to improve the level of service offered to customers. The first foreign venture was Colorantes Italia in Santa Croce, set up in 1998.

Other companies in the group include Colorantes Istanbul in Türkiye, and CLP-CI in Singapore. CLP-CI have warehouses, a laboratory and offices in Singapore, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

This year, Colorantes have established another company in Argentina. Until now, Colorantes have been represented in Argentina by General Trading, which will now be integrated into the new company, Colorantes Argentina.

The premises were opened in July 2005 and currently have a workforce of ten. The 3,000 sq m site encompasses the headquarters, store and laboratory and is close to the tanning area in Lanus, in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. There is an additional store in the duty-free zone of Mar de Plata. Colorantes Argentina will offer the full range of Colorantes products for wet processes, finishing and dyeing.