Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT) Research and Enterprise

The Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT) is a world-leading, unique research and education centre attracting students and researchers from around the globe. Our research is at the forefront of developments in the scientific and technological requirements of the automotive, fashion, footwear and allied leather industries.

Understanding new and traditional leather processing techniques expands the possibilities of how leather can be used.  Our research has an impact on diverse sectors, including medical and technological applications.  Our partnerships also take developments into engineering, media and fashion.

Our new state of the art facilities on Waterside Campus is the only University in Europe who has a tannery on site.  We can offer you this unique resource, run by experts to facilitate your research projects.

Benefits for you

  • Flexible independent research
  • Work with established world-leading academics
  • Access to grants
  • Access to a diverse range of facilities and expertise
  • Access to graduates


  • Pilote scale tannery
  • Analytical laboratory (chromatography, thermal analysis suite, elemental analysis)
  • Physical and chemical testing laboratory
  • Microscopy suite (light and SEM)

Modes of engagement

  • Rent or lease research space
  • Private client/contract research
  • Consultancy
  • Fund studentships (including PhD and MPhil)
  • Employ a post-doctoral research associate (PDRA)
  • External funding bodies e.g. Knowledge Partnerships (KTP)


Please select a recent output below or view all research outputs on NECTAR.

ICLT Students

Lucy Skinner, PhD Student

Lucy Skinner Leather PhD Student

Lucy project is a collaborative PhD in partnership with The British Museum and funded the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project aims to use modern analytical techniques for animal species identification and determination of tanning and skin processing techniques, Lucy’s research will attempt to identify and compare Nubian and ancient Egyptian skin processing techniques. The significance of the work is through making new discoveries, which have implications in the academic study of craftwork, social context and trade networks between ancient communities in the Nile Valley

Alberto Bevilacqua, Part-time PhD Student

Alberto Bevilacqua, Lecturer in Leather Technology

Alberto is looking at using novel chemistries to process leather waste and use the purified by-products in other industries.

Past PhD students

Leticia Melos Dos Santos, PhD Student

Leticia’s research addresses the use of enzymes to modify the chemistry of plant extracts currently used in so-called vegetable tanning, to gain advantage in processing.

Keib Mmapatsi, MPhil Student

Keib’s research addresses the use of a novel solvent system that is environmentally benign as a new medium for tanning.

ICLT Studentships

Research (MPhil, PhD) studentships are occasionally available: usually they will be associated with a specific project, often industry sponsored.



More information about the Microscopy Suite

TESCAN are pleased to announce our latest collaboration with the University of Northampton’s Institute for Creative Leather Technologies. The group at ICLT will receive TESCAN’s VEGA3 LMU, high performance Scanning Electron Microscope along with an Oxford Instruments, large area Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis detector.

This combination of optimised hardware plus the specialist application support available from both TESCAN and Oxford Instruments make it a complimentary technological addition to the new purpose built facilities for the ICLT, providing high resolution imaging and chemical analysis for its demanding leather and associated applications.

The new building provides an optimal environment for the new TESCAN VEGA3 SEM, with a technically equipped and spacious workplace, which will provide one of the leading teaching and research facilities within the UK academic institutes.

Paul Wood, TESCAN