Écofaune boréale (boreal ecofauna)

Cégep de Saint-Félicien, Mashteuiatsh, Québec
What the facility does

Centre for eco-responsible innovation in leather, fur and related products.

Areas of expertise

Écofaune boréale is a Canada-wide centre for applied research and knowledge transfer on the sustainable use of natural fur and leather, and of some products derived from natural felt and woolfell.

The centre carries out applied research that combines the valorisation of animal hides, technological development, technical assistance, knowledge transfer, dissemination of scientific information and the acquisition of innovative social practices, thereby helping socioeconomic players in the fur and leather industry to reposition themselves in the current global market and its value chain. More specifically, in the areas of leather, fur, derived products, tanning, finishing and equipment.

Research services

Écofaune boréale works to promote the social acceptability of animal products, the protection and management of ecosystems, the sustainable use of resources, the establishment of an environmentally responsible tanning industry in Quebec, the circular use of organic waste from slaughterhouses, the production of Quebec and Canadian goods, the importance of Indigenous traditions, the creation of partnerships between key players in the industry, innovations in tanning processes, and the revival of the high-end down and wool industry. The centre also works to reduce local markets’ dependence on imports and increase local production so supply chains can better adapt to local suppliers and innovative companies can export innovative products.

The centre contributes to the transformation and evolution of a traditional economic activity that is in decline into an innovative, growing global alternative through the integrated development of scientifically valued wildlife resources and the mobilization of partners at all stages of the value chain.

Sectors of application
  • Clean technology
  • Consumer durables
  • Education
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Manufacturing and processing



Circular flesher

Manually removes flesh and fat from animal skins and thins them.

Flesher with roller

Evenly removes the flesh and fat from animal skins with a blade roller.

Flesher with brush

Removes flesh and fat from animal skins with a rotating brush moistened with a water jet.

Paddle vat

Moisturizes, washes, and tans hides. Equipped with rotating blades, the equipment gently stirs the hides mechanically.

Wet drums

Spinning drum filled with water and tanning agents to tan hides.

Dry drums

Spinning drum equipped with paddles on its inner walls and filled with sawdust to clean fur and soften leather.

Lab drum and mini-drum

Spinning drum filled with water and tanning agents to tan hides. The drum is equipped with paddles on its inner walls and produces an intense mechanical action.

Pressure-type hydraulic extractor

Wring out water from hides and skins by means of compressor rollers.


Wrings water from skins after various baths.

Hide stretcher (blades)

Stretches and softens hides and pelts (leather and fur).

Hide stretcher (rollers)

Stretches hides (leather).

Skive machine

Thins leather with sharp blades that bring it to a uniform thickness.

Needle felting machine

Makes felt from wool, down or hair, using hooked needles. Needle and feed speeds are adjustable.


Evenly shaves hair (such as beaver hair.) The fur retains its thickness, free of guard hair.


Removes guard hair and its roots, leaving only down.

Fur lusterizer

Shines and puffs up fur.

Ironing machine for fish skin and other scaly leather

Cleans and irons fish skin leather and other scaly leather with a hot iron.

Combing roll machine

Comb and card hair and wool to remove deep-seated knots and impurities.


Efficiently dehydrates materials.

Skinning equipment

Skin whole animal as it hangs.


  • Centre d’études des procédés chimiques du Québec (CÉPROCQ)
  • Centre des technologies de l’eau (CTE)
  • CTT Group
  • TransBIOTech
  • Centre de production automatisée (CPA)
  • Centre de transfert technologique en écologie industrielle (CTTÉI)
  • Biopterre



At Écofaune boréale, optimization is key to acceptability.


Écofaune boréale is Canada’s first fur and leather research centre (page 4).


Écofaune boréale drives innovation in the fur industry.


Award for a more environmentally responsible tanning alternative: Daniel Poisson receives the CCTT Network Partner – Synchronex 2022 award.


North Shore and New Brunswick residents are interested in Magdalen Islanders’ seal-hunting expertise.


Research to the rescue of ancestral practices.


Getting the most of leather and furs.


Technological solutions for moose hide.


Second skin : Quebec entrepreneurs and scientists try to revive a more responsible leather industry. Who wants a ouananiche handbag?


Eco-responsible tanning of seal and fish skins: it’s time for innovation (A poster about algae-based tannins on display at the 90th Acfas congress.)