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Garverimuseét i Sattajärvi. Foto: Johan Stomberg

THE OLD FARMYARD TANNERY

Preparations at the old farmyard tannery (and bark tannery) involved stripping bark from spruce and willows in the surrounding forests.

The only machine was a chipper which cut the bark in small pieces. It took about six months to bark-tan a cowhide into finished leather. It was a skilled craft from start to finish.

”We started on a small scale”, Yrjö Kero recounted. ”Received skins for so-called bespoke tanning from people who came needing help to process their reindeer and cattle hides. Eventually we started to also buy skins ourselves and tan them for sale”. The leather which was tanned in the little village tannery at the homestead was sent to among others village shoemakers who in accordance with the tradition of the day turned it into peaked footwear for day-to-day use by the local people.

The first employee was Karl Wälivaara, Yrjö’s brother-in-law. Karl was recruited to the tannery in 1933 and then became an important factor in the company's success.