Introduction of indigenoues tanned leather in the production of school sandals

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August, 2015.
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Sandals consist of a sole with a strap across the vamp and a belt passes round the heel to buckle at one side of the foot. Most Senior High Schools in Ghana have introduced the compulsory use of specific type of footwear that demonstrates uniformity in the schools, specifically play deck for girls, as the ‘Achimota’ sandals was used in the early 196os. Free school sandals are also produced for students at the basic level by the Government of Ghana that has provided a huge market for footwear producers in Ghana. However, the Footwear industry in Ghana is plagued by high cost of raw materials which are mostly imported. Some producers also resort to the use of inferior materials. This research investigates the potentials of indigenous tanned leather that makes it suitable for the production of school sandals for use by Senior High Schools in Ghana. Unstructured interviews were conducted to ascertain why footwear producers are not using the indigenous tanned leathers in the production of school sandals. Exploratory research was used to modify the situation of the indigenous tanned leathers to make them suitable for the production of school sandals. Experimental research design was adopted by the researcher in the production of school sandals. It was found out that, Pigmented Leathers, Aniline Leathers and Synthetic Leathers are currently used in the production of school sandals. The indigenous tanned leather when taken through the appropriate processes like the secondary treatment and improvement of its flexibility can be used in the production of school sandals. It is therefore recommended that, Tanners improve the quantity of the Chemicals (Acacia nilotica) in their tannins to improve the flexibility of the hides for the production of school sandals. Footwear producers on the other hand could patiently go through the Secondary Treatment of Leather before production to increase the tensile strength and emit the bad odour. The government of Ghana can v encourage the use of local raw materials for the production of schools sandals. This can be done by making it a requirement for the contractors producing the school sandals for Basic School children to use the indigenous tanned leather. These will help reduce the importations of the Chrome Tanned Leathers and the use of Synthetic Leather in the production of school sandals.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Integrated Art (Leather Technology).