The art of making leather: production of wet-blue

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.

Written by Chris

February 11th, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Rise of Digital Print

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?

Written by Chris

June 20th, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Sheffield Café think its Thyme for a new Sign

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!

Written by Chris

October 4th, 2015 at 11:08 pm

Blade-y Marvellous Swann-Morton

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.

Written by Chris

September 23rd, 2015 at 3:05 pm

50 Years Of Success Is A Good Sign!

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

Written by Chris

September 23rd, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Delivering Satisfaction Through Planer Blades

Knife-Point’s priority is to deliver satisfaction to their customers through their product ranges. Whether it’s planer blades for woodworking or trimming knife blades for the fitting of carpets, they continue to remain confident in saying that they have the tools you need to get the job done right.

To ensure the long-term happiness of customers that spend money with them, Knife-Point follow a consistent process to make sure they tick all the boxes of good service. Whilst they understand that many of their clients will have the knowledge-base to make the educated purchases they need to, they’re always there to offer their advice and support if any problems do arise.


First and foremost, they understand the importance of listening to the exact needs of their customers. Knife-Point are not in the business of selling you tools that aren’t going to allow you to successfully complete your work. It might sound simple, but the first step they take to provide their clients with the planer blades that they need is simply listen to their exact requirements.

Expert Advice

Since Knife-Point have so many products available for their customers to choose from, they’re always happy to offer their advice on the ones which would suit best. Thanks to their many years experience within the knife manufacturing trade, they can do this to optimum effect. As a result, you’ll feel even more confident in the quality of any purchases that you make with them.

Great Choice

Knife-Point understand the importance of choice. It’s no good matching the wrong tool to the wrong application and they help their clients to avoid this problem by giving them the freedom to pick the appropriate planer blades they need. Options with relation to pricing, quantities and blade type are always on offer with them.

Prompt Planer Blades Delivery

For Knife-Point, it’s essential that their customers are able to gain access to the tools that they need swiftly and easily. They ensure their happiness in this way by making sure they continue to offer speedy delivery times right across all of their product ranges. By doing so, they regularly receive repeat business from customers who’ve been impressed with the service that they’ve received from them.

Planer Blades Top Supplier

As the leading supplier of planer blades to the Sheffield area and beyond, Knife-Point are continuing to expand their large client base. As well as the products covered here, they also supply trimming knife blades, Swann Morton products, Stanley knife blades and snap off blades too.

Throughout all of these ranges, the attention they pay to their customers and the vast product choice they offer remains the same. To find out more and access their fantastic range of blades today, head over to their website home page – Or, if you’d like to speak to them directly, call 07737 133 030.

Written by Chris

August 20th, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Framed Prints and Album Options for Nottingham Wedding Photography

As time goes on, your wedding album and wedding photography prints will become one of the most important lasting physical reminders of your wedding day, so it makes sense to ensure that they are displayed beautifully around your home, or in albums. Here at James Davies wedding photography in Nottingham and Worksop, we understand just how important your wedding photos are when looking back on your special day and remembering all the magical moments.

Wedding Photography Prints and Albums

Here at James Davies wedding photography Nottinghamshire, we offer a range of photograph albums in addition to our wedding photography and engagement portrait service. It’s all part of the service to include a USB device containing all of your final edited images, and an online private gallery containing all the final images.

But we do offer optional extras in the form of prints and albums, too. For example, a 8” x 6” beautifully presented coffee table book containing a selection of your photos can be yours for £80, or you could opt for a handmade 12” x 10” 10 page album for £199. We also offer a range of wedding photography albums sized 8” x 6” up to 20” x 20” in a variety of finishes. Or there’s the option of two handmade mini parent albums for £150 which make the perfect gift.

Thoughtful Gifts for Friends and Family

Wedding photography albums can also make really thoughtful and attractive gifts for family and friends. It’s a lovely way of saying thank you for their attendance at the wedding, and possibly for their help and involvement in planning the big day. Offering an album as a gift after the big day means that your relatives and friends can also have a lasting reminder of your wedding to cherish for years to come.

Wedding Photographer Nottingham

If you are looking for a wedding photographer Nottinghamshire who offers a selection of wedding album packages, we can help. We also offer wedding photography throughout Nottinghamshire including Nottingham and Mansfield. Please click here for details of my wedding photography prices, including all the great benefits and extras that are included, as well as the extra options such as albums, books, and framed pictures. Call us on 0114 383 0633 or 07763 737 283, or feel free to email us at through the contact form here.

Advice on Choosing a Shop Sign Makers in Sheffield

You’ll have to decide on a shop sign company to carry out the process of a new shop sign. To help you with your decision, here are 5 reasons to choose Image Sign Studio. When you’ve made the decision to invest in a new shop sign Sheffield for your business, there are various decisions you need to make about the design, manufacture and installation of it.

We Have an Extensive Portfolio of Work

Our portfolio includes everything from shop signage to large industrial signsfactory signage, illuminated signs3d signs and much, much more. We endeavour to work very closely with our clients, ensuring they get the perfect image for their business, from sign design and manufacture, right through to installation. Our commercial and business signage products include door signsprojecting signs3D letteringlight boxesbuilding wraps, and banners.

We Have Great Testimonials Under our Belt

Nothing tells you more about the quality and reliability of a company than positive testimonials from their customers. We have acquired a great many glowing testimonials from happy customers. For example, Roger Reade of Sheffield & Hallamshire County Football Association said: “We are all absolutely delighted with the signs now that they have all been erected around the building. They really look smashing! Many thanks to Image Sign Studio for all your hard work in installing them – they have been really excellent.” Allie Langham of Chrysalis Photography said: “Quick, slick and professional service.”

We are Experienced in Shop Signs Sheffield

Our partners have nearly 30 years in the sign industry under their belts collectively, making them experts in the industry. Both partners gained experience in many aspects of signage and sign making and have brought their collective skills together. This has proved mutually beneficial and has enabled the company to offer a broad range of services to an exceptionally high standard.

Shop Sign Makers in Sheffield

Here at Image Sign Studio, we have the skills and experience to design and manufacture a wide variety of shop signs in Sheffield, from illuminated shop signs to 3D shop signs. We offer a range of business and commercial signage solutions to businesses all over the city, and we can help you too. Call us on 0114 261 7617 to get in touch and chat to a member of our friendly

4 Great Locations for Wedding Photography Nottinghamshire

It’s really important to do the venue justice when capturing it in wedding photography, as it’s a big part of any couple’s big day. Couples obviously choose their wedding venues very carefully, and many are special locations for them for several reasons. My job as a professional wedding photographer in Nottingham and Mansfield means that I have had the pleasure of visiting some really gorgeous wedding venues. So if you’re looking for a stunning wedding venue nearby, why not consider these beauties?

Ringwood Hall, Derbyshire

Ringwood Hall is another fantastic wedding location, this time in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Situation at the gateway of the Peak District National Park, Ringwood Hall is an absolutely beautiful Georgian grade 11 listed Manor House with its own Health and Fitness Club, indoor pool and gym. It’s a lovey location with really well kept grounds, so it’s no surprise that they host over 100 weddings a year.

Hodsock Priory, Nottinghamshire

Another great Nottinghamshire wedding photography location is Hodsock Priory, a historic country house set in 800 acres of countryside on the boarder of South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. As an award winning wedding venue, it’s a very popular location for weddings. There’s even a snowdrop covered lawn and an Italian terrace on the estate, creating lots of opportunities to take beautiful wedding photography.

Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire

Thoresby Hall is one of my favourite places for Nottinghamshire wedding photography. The building is grade 1 listed, and is a 19th century country house in Budby, about 2 miles north of Ollerton. It’s now a hotel, and the perfect location for a wedding. Set in 30 acres of gardens, it’s a fantastic place to escape it all in grand Victorian surroundings.

Colwick Hall Hotel, Nottingham

Colwick Hall Hotel is a truly magnificent Palladian style Georgian country house mansion in Nottingham. It’s nestled within more than 60 acres of parkland, and is the ancestral home of Lord Byron. The building dates back to Saxon times, is grade 11 listed, and located about 2 miles from Nottingham City Centre. It’s a very popular location for weddings, with a grand entrance overlooking the racecourse and a beautiful Grand Ballroom.

Wedding Photographer in Nottingham

If you’re looking for a Nottingham wedding photographer, James Davies can help. I have had the pleasure of capturing weddings in timeless pictures in a variety of locations across Nottinghamshire, Mansfield, and Derbyshire, including the locations detailed above. Please visit the Contact Page of the website to get in touch, or to make a request for our 2015 brochure.

Trimming Knife Blades for Carpet Tradesmen

To secure the satisfaction of your customers within any trade, you need to have the right tools to back up your skill-set. Never is this truer than with carpet fitting, which requires a special type of blade for you to be able to implement any work to the best of your ability.

For such applications, the trimming knife blades available at Knife-Point are absolutely ideal. Coming in a range of sizes and quantities – with competitive pricing to boot – you’d be hard-pressed to find the products you need in a better place.

To help back up why the trimming knife blades that Knife-Point stock should be the ones that you choose to purchase, they’ve put together a short guide to explain their superiority.

It’s Important to Have the Choice that You Need

Knife-Point appreciate the importance of being able to purchase the exact blades that you require. As such, they stock everything from concave to hooked trimming products. No matter which ones you choose, you’ll be able to buy the amount that you need from them; as they continue to offer various bulk-purchase options.

Carbide Grade Delivery

A number of Knife-Point’s trimming knife blades– including Stanley branded ones – have carbide edges, which are particularly handy when it comes to heavy duty work such as the fitting of carpets. When the edges are made in this way, it’s far easier for the rest of the blade to be made flexible during any job.

The Home of Steel

Fondly referred to as the ‘Steel City’, Sheffield has a famed reputation for steel manufacture. With that in mind, the fact that Knife-Point continue to supply thousands of tempered carbon steel blades made in the city helps to reinforce the quality that they’re regularly able to provide.

Trimming Knife Blades Highly Durable

Leather, card, paper, carpet, link, vinyl and a number of other sheet materials are just some of the vast amount of materials which are suitable for cutting with a large selection of Knife-Point’s trimming knife blades. This versatility makes them highly appealing – and useful for varying implementations.

Value for Money is Vital

Value for money is an important factor in the purchase of any product. When you buy something, you want to be sure that it justifies the expenditure that you’re required to make on it; and when you achieve satisfaction in this way it can be highly-rewarding. With Knife-Point’s trimming knife blades, repeat purchases are all but guaranteed; as the prices and quality they deliver are exemplary.

Swann Morton Products Add to Trimming Knife Blades

Further to Knife-Point’s trimming knife blades, they also offer a number of other quality product ranges to their customers. Planer blades, snap off blades and a variety of Swann Morton tools are just a few other examples of these. Regardless of the ones that you choose, the great pricing and quality of products always remains the same.

To find out more, why not contact them today? You can reach them via email at; or by giving them a ring on 07737 133 030. One of their helpful and friendly team will be able to answer any queries that you may have regarding their services.

Written by Chris

August 7th, 2015 at 7:31 am