Uniting chemical and application know-how, TFL Ledertechnik, a global leader in the development and production of tanning agents and dyestuff since 1996, has been actively establishing a foothold in 90 countries including China, the United States and Italy.
Backed by German and Swiss excellence, TFL offers specialty chemicals for the leather industry worldwide. It provides customised solutions for the entire leather manufacturing process - from beamhouse to finishing. TFL also offers a system to assure that production is done in a sustainable manner.
"We have to think about where the shoe is ending up; for example, how it can be recycled and go into the product life cycle again," says Dr Peter Amann, co-CEO. "So we have two major research areas in chemistry and application and the combination is what we innovate."
Apart from chrome-free leather that is soothing even for sensitive skin, TFL's latest innovations also include anti-soiling, an environmentally friendly system that removes dirt and refurbishes white leather to retain colour. TFL is also developing technology to make leather lighter. This will allow manufacturers to produce lightweight handbags and similar items.
Other solutions include TFL's Cool System, which makes leather able to resist solar radiation and keep garments and upholstery cool. TFL can also maximise the usable area of leather with its Maxi Solution System. In addition, TFL offers various solutions including waterproofing and protection against soil, water, heat and even fire.
TFL's true service does not end at innovation. Through its worldwide application labs, including two on the mainland, TFL demonstrates its products directly to customers and provides support and technical know-how to meet their complex needs.
As it expands its customer base in the shoe manufacturing and upholstery industries on the mainland, TFL is also investing in manpower through the TFL Academy.
"We have to educate our young Chinese colleagues in the way we handle chemicals and how we'd like to have leather manufactured," Amann says.