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Although sodium sulphide based depilation is still the most popular method to process animal hides and skins, it presents a major threat to the environment. There has been considerable research emphasis on alternative processes and technologies, but most result in sub-optimal efficiency, coupled with high costs. In this study, efficient alternatives have been developed by employing dilute aqueous solutions of selected ionic liquids. In addition to the improved process, the leather produced by this method shows better tensile strength compared to leather produced by conventional methods. Re-cycling of the active solution has also been demonstrated.