On Thursday 7 December, LASRA staff member Rafea Naffa successfully defended his PhD thesis on what factors influence the strength of sheep, goat deerskins and cattle hides.


Mr Naffa sheds light on the fundamental molecular differences between skins and hides and how these differences correlate to strength. While the glycosaminoglycans, carbohydrates and lipids were analysed using previously developed methods; two new methods were developed and optimised to analyse amino acids and collagen’s natural crosslinks. His work also suggests how modifying the leather processing method can produce leather with the desired strength and properties.


An outline of this research was delivered by Mr Naffa at LASRA’s Conference this year.


Naffa, Rafea: Skin strength: The final chapter, a critical analysis of strength differences of sheep, goat, and deer skins, and cattle hides. In: Annual LASRA Conference: New Zealand Leather and Shoe Research Association; 2017, 68:80-86.


See also Rafea’s paper;


Naffa, Rafea, Holmes, Geoff, Ahn, Meekyung, Harding, David, Norris, Gillian. Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry for the simultaneous quantitation of collagen and elastin crosslinks. Journal of Chromatography A. 2016:1478:60-67.