Study on Value Addition of Leathers From Ethiopian Cow Hides: Strategy Toward Quality Improvement

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Addis Ababa University


Although the raw cow hide supplies for tanners are not small, producing quality leather is difficult, which can compete for international market. From the total export of finished leather in the year 2011/2012 only 10.7% is the share for finished cow leathers. Main types of problem that alter production of quality cow leather are both anti- mortem defects (scratches, rub mark, or horn rake pox, brand mark, wound etc) and post-mortem defects (fly cuts, fleshing cuts and putrification) that degrade the value. The study on this research reveals that surface defects mainly scratches and fly cuts largely and wound in certain extent are major drawbacks for not having quality product. To have an insight about our raw material, Ethiopian cow hide nature, and to standardize a process technology both chemical characterization such as hydroxyproline content, fat content, nitrogen content, moisture content and chromic oxide content and physical characterization such as tensile strength, tear strength, % elongation, grain crackiness and rub fastness were carried out, besides to these histology of the raw material, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis at crust stage, hair pore count using stereo-microscope of the crust and organoleptic properties at crust stage and after finishing were carried out in comparison with Indian cow leather. A newer approach of drum up-gradation using pigment and protein filler and modern type of finishing i.e. cationic compact finish were used to achieve the overall goal of producing quality leather. The results from the physical tests revels that grain crackiness of the experimental leathers is not affected by the use of pigment and filler in drum. The experimental leather showed better defect coverage and had better organoleptic properties. In the present study, promising results were found that can be used to add value to Ethiopian cow upper leathers to be salable in the world market. Key Words: Hide, leather, Defect, Organoleptic properties, Histology, Scanning Electron Microscope



Hide; leather; Defect; Organoleptic properties; Histology; Scanning Electron Microscope