Manufacturing Country

Over the last two decades, Mainland China has emerged as the largest leather producer of leather goods, the largest exporter and importer of leather in terms of volume, and the largest supplier of leather raw materials. Hong Kong acts as an outward port for leather and leather products from Mainland China and as a gateway to enter Mainland China market. Leather product inspections are crucial to ensure that your leather product meets International Standards.

Genuine Leather Mark

The Chinese government prescribes a standard called “Genuine Leather Mark”. This is a certificate of trademark which provides a reliable guarantee for selection and purchase of China made famous and excellent quality leather products by Chinese and foreign enterprises that are engaging in leather and leather products trade.Protected by state laws and registered in 1994 by China Leather Industry Association in the State Administration of Industry and Commerce “GLM has the following three functions.

  • The said product is manufactured by first layer natural leather material
  • The said leather product is a medium and high grade product with excellent quality
  • Enterprise that manufactured these products has sound after-sale service

The China Leather Industry Association has also developed the “Ecological Leather Mark”. This is a certified mark of environmental-friendly high quality leather product geared towards the leather manufacturing and production enterprises.

Complying with International Legislation

Manufacturers, brands and retailers are expected to conduct a range of performance and compliance inspection quality tests to ensure that the leather products entering the market place are safe, fit for purpose and meet global legislation.

Below are some of these compliance inspection quality tests for leather products:

  • Specialist Leather Testing
  • Biochemistry and microbiology testing
  • Comprehensive analysis
  • Effluent and water testing
  • Fastness tests
  • Microscopy
  • Identification of additives or contaminants
  • Individual chemical tests
  • Ignitability tests
  • Physical tests
  • Hide powder for tanning testing

Chemical Testing

Chemical testing of substances in leather is a specialist task due to the complex nature of the substrate and has to be carried out at a chemical testing laboratory. It will identify the compounds that are likely to be present in the materials tested and where they may have originated and the likelihood of false positive results. All chemical testing should be in line with current legislation and industry standards.

The key chemical tests for restricted substances that could be found in leather are:

  • Azo Dye testing
  • Chrome Vl testing
  • Formaldehyde testing
  • Heavy Metals (lead, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, antimony, mercury, barium, selenium) Nonyl Phenol Ethoxylates (NPEO)
  • Chlorinated Phenols
  • DMF Testing - A method for the detection of dimethyl fumarate and other
    fungicides should be carried out with a reliable detection limit of
    less than 0.1mg/kg, especially in the products have been in contact
    with silica gel type sachets.
  • REACH SVHC and REACH Restricted Substances - REACH is the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. It came into force on 1 June 2007. The purpose of this regulation is to protect human health and the
    environment. The enforcement of REACH has a great impact on the
    textile and leather industry.

Typical Analytical Equipment Used to identify faults during production of leather products are:

  • FTIR - Fourier Transform Infrared
  • SEM - Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • TLC - Thin Layer Chromatography
  • GCMS - Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy
  • HPLC - High Pressure Liquid Chromatography
  • ICP-OES Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry

Let InTouch Quality's experienced staff create a leather product inspection procedure for you.

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Topics: Textile Products

AQF Team

This article was a collaborative effort among various members of the Asia Quality Focus team.

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