BLC Leather Technology


Introducing the Sure family of leathermarks

In recent years the consumer market has moved towards requiring an enhanced level of responsibility from brands and retailers for their products. Purchasing decisions are based on factors such as quality, and increasingly on social, ethical, safety and environmental grounds. The Sure family of certification trademarks has been developed to satisfy this growing appetite for credible product assurance and has been derived using years of expertise and experience in leather.

Please note that use of the Sure family of leathermarks is exclusive to BLC members.


A significant part of the work of any industry body is to maintain and enhance the global reputation of the product created by that industry. The original hidemark (owned and policed in the UK as a certification trade mark by BLC) is still recognised by more than 60% of consumers as a sign of a quality leather product and has become a successful marketing tool for many brands. This mark can be used for all leathers which are tested at BLC and conform to the definition of leather in the latest version of BS 2780.


Leather has historically been understood by many as being a durable material, but it is a natural material and can fail from time to time. Even though the leathermark certifies that the product is made from genuine leather, it does not prove that it will perform well in the marketplace or necessarily denote suitability for purpose or quality. For this reason, the QualitySure mark can be used on any leather which withstands the suite of physical tests specified by BLC for individual products. The specifications will differ depending on the end product; for example a leather to be used for upholstery will have to withstand different criteria to a leather being used to make a handbag and so on.


Restricted substances are an important issue for both manufacturers and consumers due to extensive and complex legislation. Whether it is potentially harmful to the environment or to the user, everything should be checked in order to demonstrate due diligence and corporate social responsibility. Only leathers which have been tested at BLC and comply with specific requirements will be eligible to be awarded the ConsumerSure mark. This testing regime will consist solely of critical restricted substances including azo dyes, formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol and chrome VI. There are two different specifications for this leathermark; one for general leather and one for automotive leather.


With the introduction of more stringent restrictions for baby and child products, a further level of safety assurance is desirable. Although the MetalSure mark is not purely for children’s products, this is likely to be the industry which will benefit most from its presence on their labels. The testing needed for this leathermark is for compliance to limits on total heavy metal and chrome VI content within the leather. This mark may also be used to certify a leather or product as being chrome-free.



In the current climate of environmental awareness there is a requirement to understand the environmental credentials of a leather and the leathermaking process. The EcoSure leathermark is designed as a credible marketing tool to aid the sourcing of leather and to demonstrate environmental compliance at point of sale. The specification of testing includes an environmental audit, which is based on the Leather Working Group audit and a restricted substance testing regime.


For further information or to request a Leathermark Registration Pack contact or +44 (0) 1604 679999

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