June 17, 2024

National Beef Leathers is one of the world’s largest processors of tanned leather which they produce at their tannery in St. Joseph, MO.

According to National Beef, their tannery in St. Joseph is the largest, most technologically sophisticated wet blue leather tannery in the world.

What’s wet blue leather?

When most people think of leather, they probably think of a finished product like a leather belt or a leather purse. Wet blue leather is about halfway between a raw cow hide and a finished product like a belt or purse. A raw cow hide comes into the factory and is tanned but not turned into a fully finished leather.

The blue in the name comes from the tanning agent used and the leather leaves the factory both a bit wet and a bit blue. It’s a bit of a commodity that is treated to prevent mold (since it still contains around 60% moisture) and then shipped anywhere its needed in the world for further processing or finishing.

Companies around the world take wet blue leather from National Beef Leathers and then process it a bit more – coloring, treating, finishing the leather and then turning it into leather products we use every day.

National Beef is headquartered in Kansas City.