This blog post is written by Niki Robrahn, Coalesse Product Category Manager, who recently traveled to Sweden to visit Elmo Leather, Coalesse’s leather supplier.
Elmo Leather is a top quality leather supplier who adds very little corrective or additive materials to their product, unlike many other suppliers. Like Coalesse, Elmo values fine craftsmanship which is apparent in both their manufacturing process and end product.
When I was invited to take a tannery tour at Elmo Leather, I had no idea what to expect! Ok, I had a few ideas, but I kept an open mind knowing that there could be some interesting sights … and smells. In the end, the entire experience exceeded my expectations and was one of the most fascinating production processes I’ve seen. The tour highlighted the true care and craft Elmo takes when producing leather and demonstrated why they make a great partner for Coalesse's premium office furniture.
Surrounded by scenic farm land in the Swedish town of Boras, Elmo Leather is a fairly small facility. The company has grown since its founding in 1931 to become a leading manufacturer of leather to the furniture and automotive industries. They produce an amazing product that ships to Coalesse production facilities around the world for upholstery.
My tour started at the very beginning of the process with the hide, which arrives from local farms only days after slaughter. From the first few stages of the process, it was clear that Elmo is dedicated to the elimination of waste and repurposing unused parts of the animal.
It was interesting to watch the various wash processes and how Elmo craftsmen determine quality levels based on the individual cows. Each hide is carefully inspected and categorized each step of the way.
Once washed through several processes, the hides are eventually dried, stretched, colored and potentially patterned to become the leather we see on upholstered furniture. The lab used for the analysis of quality and coloring shows the attention to detail and commitment to quality Elmo encompasses.
The tour ended outside the main plant at the water treatment facility owned by Elmo, where the waste water from the plant is processed clean and put back into the river it originated from.
Visiting Elmo Leather was a truly remarkable experience that highlighted the true craft of our leather partner from beginning to end.