The Kingdom of Eswatini is currently benefiting under the COMaid Programe, which is a European Union funded program being executed through the COMESA Secretariat.
A number of activities are being implemented where Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) has been contracted to offer technical support in the activities under the leather component.
One of these activities which was training of Artisans/MSMEs on vegetable (plant based) tanning techniques. The training which was implemented by ALLPI in collaboration of Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade took place from 29th July to 9th August 2019 and was conducted by Harrison Mungai (ALLPI’s Leather Value Chain and Tannery Expert) assisted by Mr. Crispin Amasi (Expert in artisanal tanning) from Malawi.
The training was officially opened Mr. Robert Dlamini on behalf of Principal Secretary. In present, was Director of MSMEs Mr.Mluleki Dlamini, the project Manager Madam Portia Dlamini, acting principal Cooperative Development College (CODEC) Madam Thoko A Masuku and the acting Principal National Handcraft Training Centre (NHTC).
The objective of the training was to Enhance skill development at cottage level to facilitate technology transfer in aspect of artisanal tanning-based techniques in Eswatini.
The participants were taken through the following through theory and practice:-
- Methods of flaying and their effect on hide and skins quality;
- Pre, peri and post- slaughter defects and their effect on hides and skins quality;
- Types of preservation such as air drying, wet-salting, dry salting, pickling, mimosa cure, ground drying, appropriate curing salt, curing/preservation facilities, storage and transportation etc;
- Acids and bases - indicators and neutralization;
- Recipe percentages and calculations;
- Introduction to tannery machines, tools and equipment;
- Sorting, selection and grading of raw hides and skins;
- Production of quality leather in an environmentally friendly manner in order to attain higher customer satisfaction;
- Pre- tanning operations: soaking, liming, de-liming, bating, pickling, tanning and basification;
- Types of Tannages: Vegetable at artisanal level, Chrome, and other combination tannages;
- Post tanning operations: Sammying, splitting, shaving, weighing, re-tanning, dyeing fat liquoring, various methods of leather drying, conditioning, staking, buffing, de-dusting and impregnation;
- Production of different type of leathers and their end uses;
- Leather specifications and their application;
- Production of batik dyed leathers;
- Embossing/plating, measuring, selection and grading of leathers.
A total of 28 participants (25 Males and 3 Females) who were drawn across the country composed of Academicians, Defence, Teachers, Leather Crafters, Artisanal Tanners, people from the Ministries (Commerce and Agriculture) and new entrants.