The Process

“When perfection is the end-goal, every little detail counts in the process from start to finish”

Over the years we have honed our skills – from one generation to the next. Each step honours our time-proven techniques in producing the right colour, uniformity and durability in our leather.
Once we achieve this transformation, the leather can be finished in numerous ways to achieve the desired texture, pliability and water resistance. Tanning animal hides into leather is the science of converting animal proteins into a stable material that will not break down or decay.

Mossop Leather exclusively tan bovine cow hides.  Our tannage process uses a high exhaustion system that yields a very stable material, excellently suited to make firm and compact shoe upper leathers.  Our finishing processes use high efficiency applications that yield leather which is consistent in colour and performance.


Our Men’s and Ladies Fashion Range of articles:  serving the most discerning shoe factories in South Africa and selected international markets. 

Our High Performance Split Leathers. Mossop proudly owns the Tek-Tan leather brand names which is used in South Africa, in the Far East and India – as the preferred leather for school shoe production for the UK Market. Applications include: School shoes, Commercial Footwear, Safety Footwear, Belts and Industrial Footwear.

Our Optimum Range of exclusive High Performance Technical Leathers, is crafted with cutting edge leather science. It services the most demanding ranges of technical footwear produced in South Africa, Europe, the USA and Asia today.


We tailor-make leather for your end product, by applying the different technologies that you choose, whether in single form or a combination. Our High Performance Technical Leathers that form part of this range include:

Abrasian Resistant Leather. Designed to surpass the industry standard for high contact arasion and cuff areas.


Water Repellant Shoe-Upper Leather. Meeting the highest European, Asian and North Amercian water repellant demands, whilst maintaining superior breathability.

Fire Retardant Shoe-Upper leather. In-line withe the most demanding industry standards required by the global footwear industry.

Microbial Resistant Leather, our first in Africa. Actively contributes to eliminating foot odour.

Military Boot Leather. High performance near-infrared absorbant technology. On request, it comes in a high quality UV cured camouflage print.

Sun Reflect Leather. Keeps the surface temperature of the shoe-upper material cooler compared to its conventional leather counterparts.

Breathable shoe-upper Leather. Specifically developed to promote the "breathability" of the leather.

Anti-dirt shoe-upper Leather. A highly effective treatment to leather for excellent oil and everyday stain repellance.

Leather Terminology Explained

Aniline: Dyes and finishes that contain no pigment that shows the natural markings or characteristics of the hide.

Semi-Aniline: It is Aniline leather to which a minimal matching pigment layer is added to even out the colour and adds protection.

Cementable: Refers to leather/s that can be glued as a means of final attachment during the construction of leathergoods.

Combination Tan: Using more than one tanning process on one hide. Different results are possible when the leather is treated more than once. For example, it can be made softer and more flexible or firmer with a tighter grain.

Chrome-Tanned: Or also known as Mineral–tanned, by using chromium sulphate, that is soft and flexible, suppler and more pliable with many colour options available.

Corrected Grain: Leather that has been sanded or buffed to make its surface more even and uniform. It also removes blemishes.

Oil-Tanned: Soft, flexible and durable. Usually thick and can leave an oil residue.

Substance: Is the thickness of the material, usually in millimetres.

Full Grain: Leather that has its surface left completely intact, showing all natural characteristics of the hide. It retains all of the original texture and markings of the original hide.

Hot Stuffed: Leather that has been nourished and conditioned with unrefined oils and greases.  This is achieved without the use of water and emulsifiers and gives a much richer feel. Hot stuffed leathers typically exhibit pull-up and good water resistance.

Pasted: Leather that has been dried by fixing it to large glass or ceramic plates.  Pasted leathers have very little stretch and smooth grain character.

Pigmented Leather: Has been coated with a flat surface colour on top of or instead of the usual dye finish. Done to add durability and to hide natural blemishes.

Split Leather: Made from the lower level of a hide, split from full grain leaving a grain and a split. Split Leather is mainly used for suedes, linings or pigmented finishes.

Mill-Dyed: Leather that has had dyes introduced during retannage.  Also referred to as drum-dyed.

Toggled: Leather that has been air-dried after being stretched on a metal screen and clamped into place.

Grade: Reflects the finished quality of the hide.