Elk-skin leather – because there’s nothing better for camera straps
Up to 2.4 mm thick, extremely hard-wearing and breathable, elk-skin is the perfect leather for camera straps. At the same time, it’s unbeatably soft and feels pleasantly warm and supple against your skin. The leather we use comes exclusively from Scandinavia, where wild elk are hunted in limited numbers and under strict regulations, primarily for their meat. The hunting season starts with the Arctic winter, when the animals’ hide is at its thickest. Our Finnish partner selects only the best hides to be worked.
Step 1: Storing and sorting
The raw elk hides are first preserved in salt or by drying, and stored at low temperatures. This is where the initial quality control and sorting takes place.
Step 2: Soaking, liming and fleshing
Soaking cleans dirt and salt from the hides. During the liming process, sulphuric compounds and lime are used to dissolve hair. Any remaining flesh is then mechanically removed from the hide.
Step 3: Splitting
To ensure that the leather is an even thickness, the top layer, known as a grain split, is separated horizontally from the middle split and flesh split.
Step 4: Pickling, tanning and neutralising
Pickling is carried out to prepare the hides for the actual tanning process. The tanning agents used for elk-skin are usually chromium salts. These penetrate the hide, turning it into leather, and are then neutralised.
Step 5: Sammying, sorting and shaving
The wet leather is first dehydrated, then sorted again after an additional quality check, and finally shaved to further equalise the thickness and eliminate unevenness.
Step 6: Dyeing, filling and oiling
The leather is coloured with various dyes and filled, depending on the required surface appearance, and softened with selective oiling.
Step 7: Drying and staking
The leather is dried either in a vacuum, freely suspended, or stretched on a frame in a drying oven. It is then softened further with a tumbling machine.
Step 8: Finishing and inspection
Now the leather is given its final colour and structure. Special surface treatments, re-dyeing, pressing or ironing are used to produce the required look. After a final quality control inspection and measurement, the leather is dispatched.