Argentina, the first tannery of guanaco leather opens in June

Argentina, the first tannery of guanaco leather opens in June

In the Gobernador Gregores area, in the province of Santa Cruz (Argentina), work is underway to open the first tannery of guanaco leather. A unique entity that will employ 15 people starting in June. The tanning process will be sustainable and biological. The goal is to save the hides from the camelids roaming Argentina’s prairies, as they would otherwise go to waste.


In an interview with TiempoSur, Héctor Gabriel Varrone, artisan of the Artisanal Provincial School of San Juan Bautista, specified how tanning guanaco hides will offer multiple opportunities for the Santa Cruz province and Patagonia. It will support the growth of the segment and raise awareness over the animal, capable of providing quality fibers. In Argentina, guanaco is widely spread. The initiative aims to ask for more investments in the camelids’ segment, merging them with research and development activities and the adoption of innovative practices to tan leather and treat wool. Varrone also highlighted how the chemical processes to tan guanaco hides can be replicated for all types of leather and, more specifically, ones respecting the material and environment.

The project

This project, still in the initial phases, is waiting for funds. The semi-automatic site will employ between 8 and 15 people and will be able to produce leather in 15 days with a specific resistance and a thin size. The choice to use guanaco is practical and the livestock industry produces waste that ends up in landfills, is burnt or simply buried. A problem that, according to Varrone, would also include the meat transformation industry, as it’s no unable to use sheep hides as well. The new tannery of Gobernador Gregores would recover a byproduct. The proposal comes during the year when the United Nations have dedicated the year to camelids, as they contribute to food security, nutrition and economic growth.

Photo from Shutterstock

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