Donnia Skinn was founded in 1989 by Tome Ugrinovski who had earlier worked as a production manager at the long-established Tranås Skinnberederi in Sweden. The method of preparation that he developed during his time is still the same that is used in both Sweden and their own factory in Bosnia.
The reason that we chose to work with Donnia Skinn is that they have a high quality, excellent personal service and work on the same ethic terms as we do. To learn more about the whole process of preparing sheepskin and lambskin, we visited their factory in Bugojno, Bosnia!
We have not found any other preparation company that matches their high quality and personal service and are very happy about our many years of cooperation. In order to learn more about how the preparation of the skins is done in practice, we had the opportunity to go on a study trip to Bosnia and their company.
How is the sheepskin prepared?
At first, each skin goes through a long series of processes and is handled manually at least 40 times before it reaches our shop.
How is the sheepskin prepared?
At first, each skin goes through a long series of processes and is handled manually at least 40 times before it reaches our shop. The preparation process is of course bigger than this, but we will try to explain it in a simple way:
At the slaughterhouse: After the animal has been slaughtered the skin is removed, cooled, salted and packed on a pallet. This is called animal rawhide. The meat is of course taken care of and sold either fresh vacuum-packedby the butchery under the name “Taste of Gotland” or deep-frozen in our farm shop
At Donnia Skinn AB: Every skin is reviewed manually, and the choice of most suitable preparation (length of the wool) is made. Any damage or deviations on the skin from the slaughter house is noted. The skins are marked with a specific customer number to see which farm they come from. Hence the skins are traceable. After this, the skins are transported by truck to Bosnia
At the factory in Bosnia: When the skins have arrived in Bosnia they are placed in rotating net cages to remove things such as straw, dirt and so on. After this, the rough wool is cut, and the skin gets washed and soaked for a day so that all the leftovers can be removed in a special processing machine in the next step. When the skin is cleaned from everything that should not be there, they add enzymes that process the leather, this is called folding. What happens is that the enzymes help to break down fat and proteins. To stop the process formic acid is added and sits for at least two days. The leather is then tanned with harmless 3-valent chromium sulfate which is chemically bound into the leather's collagen fibers. The chromium salt makes the lambskins and sheepskins washable and protects them from being stiff or hard in contact with water. This kind of chrome tanning is the most common tanning in the world and is completely harmless. Sometimes people mix this up with the 6-valent chromium which is very dangerous. To clarify: We do not use any dangerous chrome tanning in the preparation of our skins.
When the skin is chrome tanned there is no excess chrome left either in the wool or on the leather and it's completely safe to use the skin the very moment you receive it, even on bnaked skin. If you at some point in the future wants to recycle your lambskin it should be thrown away in the same way as bags, belts shoes and other products made of tanned leather
After the chrome tanning procedure, the skin is washed one more time, centrifuged and placed for drying in a huge drying cabinet. When the skin has dried it is regreased and then stretched with clamps on a big grid to dry again. In large machines that look like washing machines, the skins then are degreased one last time and then taken to the grinding of the leather. This is where the back of the skin becomes soft and smooth. It is also because of this step it may be some lints later at the finished lambskin. Currently, there are no solutions for avoiding this
At the next step, the edges are cut smooth, the wool is trimmed to the correct length and if there are any remaining tangles these are carded away. If the skin gets damaged in any way along the process it will be sent to the skilled seamstresses. In that case, they sew a strong seam in the skin in a way so that it will not be visible on the wool side.
When everything is done and approved, the skins it transported by truck back to Donnia Skinn in Sweden where they pack the skins and send them to us on Gotland.
When it arrives at Gotland: When we get the skins back, we unpack them and go through every one of them to be sure that they are of high quality and have no other harm. We then give the skin a final touch, put our stamp on it, set an individual price, photograph each one of them and put the skin for sale in our shop!