The art of making leather: production of wet-blue

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    Preparing the materials from hide to the fine-quality leather is a long process requiring time, knowledge, equipment and precision. For those of you fascinated in the leather products this article will hopefully help you imagine what is going on behind the doors of leather manufactories.

    Production process of wet-blue leather

    Production of the wet-blue leather has its specific flow. First, raw stock is selected – the material is mostly acquired from the cattle hide. Secondly, unnecessary part of the skin is trimmed and prepared for weighting. Measuring the weight is essential since appropriate amount of chemicals needs to be used for fleshing, and it depends solely on the weight of the skin. The next step in wet-blue leather production is the soaking which consists in rehydration of preserved raw hides. You know the soaking is done when flesh side becomes slippery. Then it is time for liminig which involves treatment of soaked hides with milk of lime (CaO). At this state, the hair is removed from the skin to be next fleshed, weighted again and put into a chemical bath.

    Next stage is deliming – done to remove the lime, swelling and plumping.

    Chemicals used in this process need to have ability to reduce pH. The following stage is called bathing and it is really interesting since here is when we decided the use of the finished leather. Depending on it, we treat the hide with enzymes (weak, mid strong or strong) to soften it appropriately. Next, comes the pickling – we call it a process of treating delimed pelt with a solution of acid and salt. Among other advantages, pickling helps to reduce astringency of chrome tanned leather.

    Wet-blue leather is chrome tanned using chrome tanning salts and this process (taking place after the pickling) leaves the hide with blueish color. Then, the skin is going through basification – done to increase the strength properties of the material. After that, the final stage of preparing the leather is draining out the chrome liquor and piling up the material for 4-7 days in order to complete the fixation and polymerization reactions. It’s important to note that chrome-tanned leather is generally stronger than vegetable-tanned leather, so has a wider variety of possible uses.

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      Written by Chris

      February 11th, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Posted in Miscellaneous

      Rise of Digital Print

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        As time has gone on and consumer’s tastes have developed and changed, leather world marketing has evolved with them. Wanting to maintain a strong position at leather market it has become essential for organizations to fully coordinate their marketing communication strategies to ensure they deliver clear, constant and competitive messages about themselves and the items they indorse. By having creative and innovative marketing communications that can reinvent new ways of interaction, which is something that could make a business the new leather market leader. Relationship marketing has generally taken a back seat for the past decades but not anymore. It has become a key in the marketing strategic plans and must keep up with its customer’s wants and needs.

        Integrated marketing communications is a way in which a company can keep up its relations with its customers. There are a great deal of benefits to using IMC’s and this is becoming more and more apparent as you look around your surroundings and at leather world. IMC’s is now everywhere. You can pick up a product and the sales women will offer you a personal service due to product you have picked up. This is not something that has been missed by luxury brands.

        More and more consumers are demanding personalised items and brands are giving it to them, as the leather market has to evolve along with other branches. Nike for years has given their customers the chance to customise your own pair of trainers. Prada has also jump on the band wagon by offering customers the chance to customise their shoe uppers and even the soles of the shoe. As brands start to follow this trend the technology of digital print starts to really show itself for what it is.
        Digital printing is one of the ultimate personations as you can create your own pattern and have small details added that one couldn’t before.

        The digital print era isn’t limited to footwear and leather world goods. Automotive and aviation have also taken it on board; KLM airline are replacing all their embroidered monogram headrests with digitally printed ones. This isn’t just increase longevity of the headrest but it is also more hygienic. The more bespoke car companies are also getting asked for customisation to a greater detail. With digital printing the sky is the limit, you can take a piece of leather and make it look as if it were a completely different material.

        Feetz are an American company that have made the move into completely three dimensionally printed shoes. These are made to fully fit the customer to perfection. Modern Meadow are at the forefront for changing the way we think about leather. They have managed to grow defect free leather in a lab. Will their technology end the leather market as we know it? This is an ongoing experiment but one that looks promising in the way of saving the environment but doomy for the leather industry. As more and more consumers are becoming wary of where their items are coming from.

        Will we one day be able to digitally print three dimensional leather shoes?

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          Written by Chris

          June 20th, 2016 at 1:11 pm

          Posted in Miscellaneous

          Sheffield Café think its Thyme for a new Sign

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            This month, one of our projects, here at Image Sign Studio signage Sheffield, has been to do the signs at the highly esteemed Thyme Café, in Broomhill, Sheffield. Thyme Café had decided that it was time for a change and so they enlisted us to do just that especially for them!

            We started the project of redoing the face of their café approximately two weeks ago. They decided that Aluminium Sign Trays and Digital Print with Aluminium Lettering with CNC Cut Out would be used for their new signage. Once manufactured, it only took us a couple of hours to fit their new sign, although we did get a little distracted by a rather delicious lunch, so we were onsite for longer than expected, but we shall blame Richard, one of the owners and talented Chef, for that!

            Thyme to visit the Café

            In 2003, Thyme Café was established by Richard Smith and Adrian Cooling. They had been so successful with ‘Smith’s of Sheffield’, their previous venture, that they decide to start the next chapter. The focus of Thyme Café is on ‘robust, hearty dishes’ which are ‘big on flavour’ which was the key to this new chapter. Their front of house is headed by Victoria Smith, Richard’s wife, and in the hands of this capable trio, another very successful venture has been created and maintained by them all, with a vast, enticing menu and welcoming atmosphere.

            Commercial Shop Signs Sheffield and Retail Signage

            At Image Sign Studio, they are experienced in retail shop signs Sheffield with the skills to provide you and your business with the perfect shop signage ensuring you have the best look. They can design, manufacture and install a large array of bespoke shop signs in Sheffield and are proud that they can offer a tailored, personal service, especially for you. As part of their bespoke shop signs, they can offer you services including Digital Printing, CNC Routered signs, 3D signs and illuminated signs, just for starters. Their materials range from aluminium to stainless steel, from Perspex to wood. Not only can they offer different shop signage Sheffield and a wide range of materials but they can also offer you their expertise, advice and direction should you need it, ensuring that you make a good and lasting impression on your customers, whatever your business.

            Contact Image Sign Studio

            If your business is showing signs of needing a facelift, then why not give Image Sign Studio a call on 0114 261 7617, email them at or alternatively you can click here to go directly to their website.

            Contact Thyme Café, Broomhill, Sheffield

            For all enquiries, please phone 0114 2670735, email them at or to check opening times, daily menu and offers click here to go directly to their website.

            Sign of the Thymes

            Why not pop up to Thyme Cafe on Glossop Road, Broomhill, for a ‘robust and hearty dish’ that is always full of flavour and whilst you are there, you can admire signage from Image Sign Studios, too – We’re sure Richard, Adrian and Victoria won’t mind if you hang around a little longer!

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              Written by Chris

              October 4th, 2015 at 11:08 pm

              The Perfect Trio – Door Knobs, Door Handles and Wobbly Teeth

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                Were you the same? Whenever I had a wobbly tooth as a young child, I couldn’t resist relentlessly fiddling with it. My parents always threatened me with a piece of string being tied around it and the door being slammed, in an attempt to drag out my wobbly tooth, which obviously irritated them more than it did me. It is thought that the idea of slamming doors to remove teeth via the use of a piece of string has originated from the Victorian era but seems to have lasted much longer than the majority of their traditions. It may seem like perhaps a strange topic to write about but it is actually relevant, I feel, as originally door handles and door knobs would have been the key part in this tooth extracting process. But can you guess what has replaced them?

                Don’t Drone on about Door Knobs or Door Handles

                It became apparent last week that door knobs and door handles had a new rival, as it went viral that multiple children were asking their parents to extract their wobbly teeth by using…drones! A drone is small, radio controlled, helicopter like device which has an inbuilt camera (often multiple) and they are designed to be controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

                Victorian Door Knob Method

                Malcolm Swan, for example, used a quadcopter drone, to enable him to remove his sons loose tooth. This was done by attaching dental floss tightly to Adam’s loose tooth, with Malcolm initiating the drone to start flying. Adams reaction in the illustrative video shows that it was definitely not a traumatic or painful experience but one of ease, excitement and great success. However, do not be so naïve as to think that this is the case every time. There are many stories that involve drones in relation to child tooth extraction which are nowhere near as successful or as pain free, so as much as we are pleased that Adam had a lucky escape with his extraction, perhaps we should all stick to using the old fashioned, tried and tested Victorian method, which never seems to have failed – door handles and door knobs!

                Handsome Handles Door Knobs and Door Handles

                Would you rather stick to the old fashioned, reliable method of using door knobs and door handles? But want a modern and elegant twist? Then why not contact Handsome Handles. Whether you need kitchen cabinet knobs, internal door handles or external door handles such as PVC door fittings, suited to your home or your work place, they can work with you to find exactly what you are looking for. At Handsome Handles they provide beautiful, contemporary door knobs, door handles and door knockers. They offer the best and most handsome handles exclusively for you, offering their friendly and professional service to all of England and Scotland from their South Yorkshire base. So if you can’t wait to get your teeth stuck in to choosing yourself some new door knobs or door handles, get in touch with Handsome Handles on 07961 832 812 or alternatively you can email them at or check out their website by clicking here to see what they have in store for you.

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                  Your Greener Future involves Heat Pumps

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                    Electricity and Gas suppliers are offering their users a better financial deal in order for them to use their services at certain times of the day, when most energy is used so that it is in plentiful supply.

                    Smart grids are now being used by suppliers so they can keep us, as a country, supplied with power, whenever we should need it. Theoretically, smart grids are able to solve Britain’s energy problems, matching our supply and demand effectively, efficiently, greenly and by wasting as little energy as possible. Smart grids are more secure, reliable and enable better integration with green technologies. Green technologies include such methods as solar panels and heat pumps, which also aid Britain to gain the most from our natural energy sources, like wind and sun.

                    What is a Smart Grid?

                    A smart grid is an energy database, monitoring and responding to the demand in power, real time. Supply and demand are well matched, there is efficient consumption and they create a much greener energy use. As a nation using smart meters, it is expected that we save about £6bn over the next 20 years. However, it is roughly estimated that set up costs are £11bn but total benefits are expected to exceed £17bn.

                    Smart Meters and Me

                    By linking your home to a smart meter and then to the smart grid, you would benefit because you would become more energy efficient with usage and would therefore save money. Examples of this incredible technology would be that you could set the washing machine to only wash your clothes when the electricity was at its cheapest, or you could be notified by text message if you had left a large energy wasting source on in your home, such as the heating.

                    Think Green, Think Heat Pumps

                    There are two types of heat pumps. These are air source heat pumps (ASHPs) and ground source heat pumps (GSHPs), which can both be used for domestic and commercial use.

                    Air source heat pumps use external heat, boost it at a high temperature and use it to heat your domestic or commercial space and water immediately, either via an air-to-water or air-to-air air source heat pump, heating radiators, underfloor heating and hot water cylinders, as just a couple of examples.

                    Ground source heat pumps use a network of buried underground pipes which extract heat. They draw heat in to a heat exchanger which can then be used by various heating methods or provide hot water in your home or business. They are extremely economical in providing these heat sources, utilising their heat to provide for radiators, underfloor heating systems and hot water tanks.

                    Contact Phaseline Renewables

                    If you are interested in heat pumps, or indeed finding out about other ways to make your house or commercial property green, such as biomass boilers, solar panels or underfloor heating, then contact Phaseline Renewables. Phaseline Renewables offer a wide range of different solutions to suit all of your green needs. Give their friendly and professional staff a ring today on 0114 294 55 00, email them at or alternatively click here to go directly to their website.

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                      A Surrey-al Find By a House Clearance Company

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                        Just a few months ago, a house clearance company were sent in to clear a small terraced house in Surrey, due to the owners death. During the clearance, a member of the house clearance team found a gold locket which came to their attention amongst the clutter. They opened the locket and came across a lock of hair and a hand-written note inside it. The note stated:

                        ‘Obtained by Admiral George Brine when in command of H.M.S Mosquito guarding Napoleon at St Helena; given by him to my mother; at her death in 1867 given by us to my brother Captain George Brine RN after whose death in 1889 it passed to his widow and at her death it came to me.’

                        The lock of greying hair and hand-written note were recently taken to auction from the small terraced house before it was due to be demolished, to discover that the hair was actually that of Napoleon Bonaparte. He seemed to have had a lock of hair cut and placed inside this locket during his exile period on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic, succeeding the Battle of Waterloo. This unusual but nevertheless very interesting 200 year old find, raised huge interest at auction and later sold for £9,000.

                        Still, it is unknown as to how this piece came to have arrived in Surrey, and that is a mystery which will probably forever remained unsolved. Though, the authenticity of the piece has not be questioned as the provenance is cast iron. What a fantastic find for a beady-eyed house clearance member of staff from a house clearance company, who found this incredible item in the bi-centenary year of Waterloo.

                        House Clearance and Clean Up Sheffield

                        Do you need a house clearance company to relieve you of all of the hard work and stress of clearing out a property and cleaning it up for you? Are you unable to do heaving lifting? Do you look at lots of mess and are unable to see where to start? Why don’t you get in touch with Clearance and Clean Up? They serve hundreds of individual people, companies and organisations in and around Yorkshire, including Clearance and Clean Up Wakefield and Clearance and Clean Up Rotherham, though Clearance and Clean Up Sheffield is their main base. They hold the highest required insurance licences and training that are available in this industry. Their ethos is to be as environmentally friendly as they possibly can be, so they recycle and reuse many collected items, use eco-friendly cleaning products wherever possible, avoid using land-fill sites and have built up great relationships with their local charity shops due to the volume of their donations.

                        Contact Clearance and Clean Up

                        At Clearance and Clean Up, they offer competitive rates, are 100% reliable and work 7 days a week, to be there for you whenever you need them. So, if you feel that you need a house clearance company then you can contact Clearance and Clean Up on 0800 410 1086 or 0114 403 1021 or you can alternatively email them at

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                          Agrics in Partnership with Biomass Boiler Supplier

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                            Off grid major energy supplier, AvantiRenewables, recently announced a three-way partnership between Byworth Boilers, Janfire UK and themselves. Commercial steam biomass boilers manufacturers, Byworth Boilers, and Janfire UK provide Swedish burners and technology and AvantiRenewables who are a subdivision of AvantiGas, the off grid energy giant. This partnership aim to provide industrial biomass steam boilers to businesses without pushing their commitment of upfront capital whilst promising reduced CO2 emissions. Their holistic approach pools decades of operational knowledge, engineering expertise and resources from the three partnerships, providing complete biomass steam boiler packages to industries. They claim to facilitate high power cleaning, sterilisation and energy efficient heating.

                            Biomass Steam Boilers Users

                            Steam Boilers most common users are those in the field of agricultural. Farmers particularly appreciate steam boilers because of their capabilities for water heating which makes them the perfect heat source for keeping animal holding areas sanitary as well as safe. They are easy to maintain their heat so appropriate temperatures can be kept within cattle and poultry sheds. Steam Boilers are useful in that they are used in the food waste process and so are eco-friendly.

                            Sheffield Biomass Boiler Installers

                            Phaseline Renewables, Sheffield, are biomass boiler specialists and install them for commercial use. This qualifies you for the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). They enable the provision of heating but also hot water, as well. Phaseline Renewables have experienced installers with biomass boilers with a strong focus on commercial customers, having previously managed large projects in various industries, including the agricultural sector.

                            Biomass Vs Conventional Boilers

                            Biomass boilers function in the same way as conventional gas, oil or LPG fired boilers which you may already be familiar with. The only big difference is that biomass boilers run off a sustainable, renewable energy source which is UK manufactured. Phaseline Renewables, installs biomass boilers which are able to run off a variety of different renewable and sustainable sources of energy. Thus includes log burning boilers, wood chip boilers, wood pellet boilers and straw bale boilers. These examples are all able to supply commercial premises with hot water and central heating with absolutely no issue. They are self-regulating relating to their own heat output which allows safe and efficient fuel burning to take place. Biomass boilers are eco-friendly owing to their automated feed system hopper, which allows biomass boilers to be just as user friendly and low maintenance as any conventional boiler you may have previously known eg. gas, oil or LPG.

                            Contact Us
                            If you are interested in biomass boilers or would like to find out more information about any of the above mentioned boiler types, contact Phaseline Renewables today for your free quotation. You could be saving a substantial amount on your fuel costs now. So, for more information about Phaseline Renewables and their biomass boiler installations at your commercial property, call Phaseline Renewables on 0114 2945500 or email them at

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                              Blade-y Marvellous Swann-Morton

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                                Sheffield based company, Swann-Morton, were founded in 1932 and since then have world leaders in the manufacturing of surgical blades, scalpels and handles. Their blades act as enabling tools for professionals in many areas, due to Swann-Morton’s consistency, reliability and combination of traditional blade making skills and latest technologies. The main professionals consistently using Swann-Morton blades are Surgeons, Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Dentists and Veterinarians.


                                Chiropodists, Podiatrist and Swann-Morton

                                Chiropodists and Podiatrists preferred products are the range of carbon or stainless steel sterile surgical blades which ideally suit them because they are both practical and hygienic. The most commonly asked for blade is the Swann-Morton ‘Sabre’ is a Chiropodists favourite tool – a uniquely shaped, ‘closed’ cutting edge tool used for ‘paring’ and ‘scraping’. This facilitates close, fine work, without gouging, leaving a smooth, rounded finish on desired areas.

                                Surgeons and Swann-Morton

                                Swann-Morton have a general Surgical Blade range which consists of 34 blade shapes and 12 different handles. These blades are used throughout many types of theatres, hospitals and practices, including Cardiology, Orthopaedics and Reconstructive surgery units. Surgeons choose their own blade size and shape, thus often dependent on their expertise and what enables them to be most flexible and dexterous in their specific medical area.


                                Veterinarians and Swann-Morton

                                Vets also prefer to use carbon and stainless steel sterile surgical blades during surgery. Type and size vary drastically owing to the animal size they are operating on and the problem in hand, more so than the surgical ability of the vet themselves. Blade versatility is apparent by reading the following:

                                • Neurosurgery on a small animal, like a Rabbit, would require a 15 or No.20 Swann-Morton surgical blade.
                                • A skin Incision on a large animal, like a Cow, would require a 22 Swann-Morton surgical blade.
                                • Performing specialist vaginal surgery on a Horse would require a 3L or 4L Swann-Morton Handle.


                                Dentists and Swann-Morton

                                Like Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Dentists appreciate the carbon and stainless steel sterile surgical blades usually. Dentists use them in order to perform fine surgical techniques, including: implantology, labial fraenum, incising abscesses, periodontal surgery and raising skin flaps. The most prevalent Swann-Morton blade amongst Dentists is No.15 as it has the most ideal blade shape. This enables them to make short, precise incisions needed, which, amusingly, are the same size blades used for doing rabbit neurosurgery.


                                Where can YOU get hold of Swann-Morton blades?

                                As a leading supplier of Swann-Morton blades in the Sheffield area, it is Knife-Points intention to be your number one choice of blade provider. They aim to meet and exceed your requirements whenever you purchase tools from Knife-Point, working closely with you to aid you in obtaining anything and everything you need in order to get your job done well. With 30 years experience, they stock high quality products, are competitively priced, provide excellent customer service and their deliveries are extremely fast.

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                                  Written by Chris

                                  September 23rd, 2015 at 3:05 pm

                                  50 Years Of Success Is A Good Sign!

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                                    Saturday 19th September marks the start of the London Design Festival for 2015, until the 27th. This event combines design and creative geniuses from throughout the country, showcasing an array of designs from our built environment, functional daily items and decorative luxury items. This free to attend event is going to be the biggest one yet, with around 400 events. One of the biggest exhibitions to go and see there this year at the Design Museum is the 50 years of British road signs Exhibition, designed by Calvert and Kinneir. This also free exhibition celebrates the installation of both original and new signage, as well as archived materials curated by Made North.

                                    The Origins of The Road Sign

                                    50 years previous, us Brits were on the move! We were building new-fangled motorways, more of us were buying more cars due to their lowered prices and greater affordability and we were on the move quicker or more frequently than we had ever been before. But, this soon became a problem, though not from the issues you may perhaps initially assume, rather due to our road signs. This resulted in a discussion at the 1931 Geneva Convention where a talk held placed titled “Concerning the Unification of Road Signals”. During this discussion it was made paramount that visual aids were needed to be made prevalent over words. This was because of the multiple things but mainly due to dim lighting, bad weather conditions and high speed all preventing signs and signals from being read properly and warnings being missed. The ministry took note of this and employed a Hyde Park graphic designer to assist them in taking new measures to protect the country and their driving safety. It was Jock Kinneir they employed to design new signs for them with the help of his young but talented pupil, Margaret Calvert, later becoming his business partner. The signs were recreated and in 1965 a leaflet was canvased through every door in the country, titled “The New Traffic Signals” and this became the modernity turning point for British signage. These signs designed by Kinneir and Calvert have remained practically unchanged sinced 1965, keeping the Kinneir and Calvert name alive 50 years on.

                                    Image Sign Studio

                                    Image Sign Studio are professional makers of signs Sheffield, and are pleased to show their support of the 50 Years of British Road Signs Exhibition showcasing this month. Signage Sheffield, South Yorkshire, based company, Image Sign Studio, was established by Richard and Dean, 11 years ago. This pair have previously worked together many years before in the signage industry. Between them, they are able to bring together all aspects of the signage industry and create exactly what each individual customer needs directly from their site. This enables Image Sign Studio to offer a multi-faceted array of services to their customers and they have many specialisms including:

                                    • Large retail signage
                                    • Commercial signage
                                    • School and Hospital signage
                                    • 3D Signs
                                    • LED Signs
                                    • CNC Routering

                                    How To Contact Image Sign Studio

                                    If you need advice or assistance in relation to the manufacturing or installation of your new shop sign Sheffield, then why not call Richard and Dean at Image Sign Studio on 0114 261 7617 or alternatively, you can email them at

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                                      Written by Chris

                                      September 23rd, 2015 at 2:18 pm

                                      Could The Key to the Safety of Dementia and Alzheimer Sufferers Be Door Knobs?

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                                        Studies show that 3 in 5 people that suffer with dementia often ‘wander’ off and can consequentially become lost. However, it isn’t the act of ‘wandering’ off that is usually the problem, it is unfortunately their inability to return. A person with Alzheimers may not be able to recall the information containing their name or address and will often, sadly, become disorientated, despite being in a familiar place. ‘Wandering’ is not connected to the level of care put in place by the caregiver, but can actually still occur even under the supervision of the most diligent of Dementia and Alzheimer carers presence.

                                        Door Knobs Prevent ‘Wandering’

                                        It is interesting that door knobs have been suggested as being a preventative for ‘wandering’ sufferers. Clearly, it is not being suggested that a person suffering from Dementia or Alzheimers is ever ‘locked’ in a room, but specific fixtures of door knobs seem to be becoming prevalent in their safety promotion and the safety of others around the sufferers. It has also been found that these new door knobs have reduced carers levels of stress because they drastically decrease the frequency that ‘wandering’ occurs. Camouflaged door knobs have been recently been trialled – which is where door handles are painted the same colour as the door or the walls in the room so that they blend in with their background and become camouflaged and therefore harder for the escapee to escape. However, this is not seen to be unsafe because if there was ever to be an emergency, the handle remains evident, just like any normal handle, from the outside of the door, permitting easy emergency access. An alternative option is to use child-proof door knobs which can increase a sufferers’ safety. A third idea is to use a device connected door knob. This is a door knob which lets off a signal when a door or window is opened. This could be a bell or a buzzer, which can be located above a window or door in order for the carer to be made aware every time the patient has exited a room by either of these methods.

                                        Handsome Handles and Door Knobs For Your Home

                                        Finding the correct door knobs for your home is clearly extremely important. If this article has made you think about changing the door knobs and door handles in your home, we are here. Our professional staff here at Handsome Handles will be happy to help you find the appropriate door knobs and door handles to fit perfectly for your home. To contact us at Handsome Handles, please phone us on 07961 832 812 or alternatively email us at

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