Leather Chemicals Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis, By Type (Biocides and Surfactant), Product (Tanning Agents (Vegetable tanning, Chrome tanning, and Others), Finishing Agents (Polyurethane Acrylic, and Silicone), and others) End User, By Region, Forecast Period 2022 – 2030. (Updated Version Available)

Report ID - MRC_1510 | Pages - 208 | Category - Organic Chemicals

Key Market Overview:

Leather Chemicals Market size was valued at USD 7.40 Billion in 2021, registering a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2022-2030), and the market is projected to be worth USD 13.10 Billion by 2030.

Leather chemicals is a type of specialized substance group used in the production of leather goods. Such chemicals play a crucial role in transforming raw hide into high-quality leather that is durable, soft, and has an attractive appearance. The process of making leather involves several stages, and each stage requires different chemicals to achieve the desired result. The primary stage is tanning, where tanning agents such as chromium, vegetable tannins, or aluminum salts are used to preserve and stabilize the leather fibers. After tanning, the leather is subjected to various finishing processes, including dyeing, which involves adding color to the leather using aniline dyes, pigments, or surface coatings. Finishing agents, such as surfactants, oils, waxes, and resins, are then applied to enhance the appearance, feel, and durability of the leather. Fat liquors, including oils, and emulsions, are also added to soften and lubricate the leather fibers. Finally, degreasers and cleaners are used to remove impurities and grease from the leather before processing.

It is important to use the right type and amount of chemicals in each stage to produce high-quality leather, and to handle these chemicals with caution, because some of them may be hazardous to human health and the environment. For instance, Smit & Zoon, is a Netherland-based company, that specialized in the production of leather chemicals. The company has its own leather tanning brand, named Nera that supports other leather manufacturers by providing leather chemicals to the manufacturer of different leather-based goods including footwear, waterproof leather goods, and sportswear for various industries such as aviation, public transport, automotive, and furniture.

The market is driven by the increasing demand for leather products, such as clothing, footwear, furniture, and accessories, in both mature and emerging economies. The growing middle-class population in emerging economies, along with changing fashion trends, has fueled the demand for leather goods which impacts growing the demand for leather chemicals.

Market Dynamics:


The popularity of leather in the fashion industry has led to a high demand for leather chemicals in the market. The fashion industry has a long history of using leather, and it continues to be a popular material due to its durability, strength, and versatility. Leather is treated, dyed, and finished in a variety of ways to achieve different appearances, textures, and properties, making it suitable for a wide range of fashion products. Furthermore, leather chemicals play a critical role in the production of leather used in the automotive industry. The automotive industry uses leather for a variety of purposes, including upholstery, seat covers, and interior trim. For instance, Lanxess AG, a German specialty chemicals company offers AQUADERM XL DI 90 and AQUADERM XL 100 the polyisocyanate crosslinking agents. These chemicals are responsible for the reduction of VOC (volatile organic compounds) and smell, specifically in automotive applications.


Environmental concerns regarding the use of certain chemicals in the leather processing industry hinder the leather chemical market growth. For instance, the use of chromium in the tanning process has led to the contamination of water sources, soil, and air, which harms wildlife and plant life. According to CSIR, the central leather research institute, manufacturers of leather chemicals are facing severe restrictions on the use of toxic constituents and their presence in the final product.


The eco-friendly leather chemicals could offer lucrative opportunities to the leather chemicals market as consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of the products they purchase, and are demanding eco-friendly and sustainable products. In addition, the advances in technology and the development of new and improved leather chemicals would also offer lucrative opportunities to the market. For instance, The InSuLa project is an industry-driven project led by the experienced Italian company KEMIA TAU (KT), and the consortium comprises a partnership with complementary skills in leather chemistry and many other departments to focus on the development of novel safe and non-toxic nanocomposites as inorganic fillers.

Leather Chemicals Report Coverage:

Report Attributes Report Details
Study Timeline 2016-2030
Market Size in 2030 (USD Billion) 13.10 Billion
CAGR (2022-2030) 6.5%
By Type Biocides and Surfactant
By Product Product (Tanning Agents (Vegetable tanning, Chrome tanning, and Others), Finishing Agents (Polyurethane Acrylic, and Silicone), Dyeing Agent ( Water-Based and Non-Water Based), and Others
By End User Footwear, Furniture, Automotive, Textile and Fashion, and Others
By Geography North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
Key Players Lanxess AG, BASF SE, Stahl Holdings B.V., Huntsman Corporation, Evonik Industries AG, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), Buckman Laboratories International, Inc., Thor fine chemicals, Wacker Chemie AG, and Covestro AG

Market Segmentation:

By Type

The type segment is bifurcated into biocides and surfactants. The surfactants segment dominated the market in terms of revenue share. This is attributed to the fact that surfactant based chemicals are used in the leather processing industry to modify the surface properties of leather. They are used in the finishing stage of the leather processing to improve the appearance, feel, and durability of leather. Some common surfactants used in the leather industry include anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants, and nonionic surfactants. Moreover, the biocides segment is projected to dominate the market over the forecast period due to their ability to prevent the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and yeasts which cause harm to leather production. These chemicals play an important role in maintaining the quality and safety of leather products. Biocides are used in the beam house and tanning stages of the leather processing process. Some common biocides used in the leather industry include benzalkonium chloride, formaldehyde, and quaternary ammonium compounds.

By Product

The product segment is categorized into tanning agents, finishing agents, dyeing agents, and others. The tanning agent segment holds the largest share in the leather chemicals market in terms of volume due to their wide variety of applications in sectors such as footwear, furniture, and automotive. For instance, Stahl chemicals a Netherlands-based company has developed Easy White Tan using Granofin Easy F-90 liquid as its base, which is chrome free and eliminates the process of beamhouse pickling. The product is organic and opens the door for sustainable re-tanning, softening, and dyeing. The leather made by using Easy White Tan covers every automotive application.

Furthermore, finishing agents are anticipated to register the fastest-growing CAGR in the leather chemical market over the forecast period. Finishing agents are chemicals used in the leather processing industry to enhance the appearance, feel, and durability of leather. They are applied after tanning and play a critical role in producing leather that meets specific end-use requirements. For instance, in the footwear industry, finishing agents are used to provide a smooth and glossy finish to leather shoes and boots. This enhances their appearance and makes them more appealing to consumers. Finishing agents are also used to make leather water-resistant, thereby increasing its durability and lifespan.

By End User

The end-user segment is divided into footwear, furniture, automotive, textile and fashion, and others. The footwear segment holds the largest share in the market in terms of value. Leather shoes and boots continue to be in high demand, driving the demand for leather chemicals. The leather chemicals used in footwear production include tanning agents for converting raw hide into leather and finishing agents for improving the appearance and feel of the leather. Moreover, the automotive industry is anticipated to dominate the market with the fastest CAGR over the forecast period due to the use of leather chemicals, with leather being used for car interiors, such as seats, door panels, and steering wheels. The growth of the automotive industry is expected to drive demand for leather chemicals, with tanning agents and finishing agents being used to produce high-quality leather for automotive interiors.

By Region

The leather chemicals market is segmented by region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America holds the largest share of the leather chemicals market due to its strong presence of leather goods manufacturers. The growth in the automobile and footwear industries in the region also leads to regional growth.

Furthermore, Asia Pacific is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. This is due to the rapid growth of the footwear and leather goods industries in countries such as China and India. The presence of several small and large players, along with the easy availability of raw materials, makes the Asia-Pacific an attractive market for leather chemical manufacturers. The growth of the economies in the region and the increasing demand for leather products is expected to drive the market for leather chemicals in the Asia-Pacific over the forecast period.

Leather Chemicals Market Competitive Landscape: (make a few changes)

The competitive landscape of the market has been analyzed in the report, along with the detailed profiles of the major players operating in the industry. The leather chemicals market is highly competitive, with several large and small players operating in the market. These companies focus on product innovation, research and development, and expanding their geographical presence to increase their market share. Following is the list of major key players:

Recent Developments:

  • In June 2021, LANXESS AG sold its organic leather chemicals business to TFL Ledertechnik GmbH. With the sale, all operations of the organic leather chemicals business line with around 420 employees have been transferred to TFL.
  • In September 2020, Stahl announced a new product portfolio named Stahl EleGrade. This newly updated portfolio will cater to all types of upgrading requirements.

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Leather Chemicals Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis, By Type (Biocides and Surfactant), Product (Tanning Agents (Vegetable tanning, Chrome tanning, and Others), Finishing Agents (Polyurethane Acrylic, and Silicone), and others) End User, By Region, Forecast Period 2022 – 2030. (Updated Version Available)
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