Part Four - Inside The Old Morlands Factory
During the 1900s sheepskin was bought in from around the world. Each skin varied considerably in quality and character. On arrival, the skins were soaked for twelve to forty-eight hours depending on their condition. The wool was thoroughly cleaned by scouring in resolving paddles containing soda and detergent. From here the skins were pickled in a solution of sulphuric acid and salt.
At this point, it's worth mentioning that our modern methods are much better for the environment and we are constantly evolving our approach to be as planet friendly as possible.
During the tanning process, Morlands opted for the most expensive method at the time using salt of metal chromium to tan the leather. This created a premium leather that resisted heat, fading and offered some water resistance. The tanning process lasted ten to twenty hours depending on the order.
After tanning the skins are spin-dried and stretched out, the dry leather was laid in damp sawdust to season. The dyeing process followed and the skins were finished with close inspection by the finishing team and a final iron.
Once everyone was happy with the quality of the final sheepskin it was handed to the highly skilled craftsmen and women to produce the latest product ranges.
The Morlands factory included a large laboratory which continued constant analysis of the process and continually improved the methods by testing new materials and chemicals. Interestingly, the despatch room doesn't look too much different from the one in our warehouse now.