Natural sea sponges processing
The processing of the sponges begins right after extraction from the sea...
Trampling and washing in seawater.
With this procedure the body of the animal and any foreign bodies (sand, stones, various mikrozoa, crustaceans and shellfish that live on it) are removed.
Then they are left in the sun to rest and the same procedure is repeated all over again. Later on they are thrown overboard at night where the waves wash them from the remnants of the membrane. Then they are hauled from the sea, squeezed and spread out in the sun to dry.
Then they are packed in bags and stored on board. It is necessary to be wet and dry again because moisture is possible to get the color to rust or can make them poorer in quality.
With the return of the ships to Kalymnos, sponges spread out to sun in public space for demonstration and merchandising.
After their purchase by the local sponge traders the sponges are transferred to warehouses for processing where it starts the clipping process.
All sponges are trimmed by hand to get a nicer and uniform shape.Then they separate them into different types and sizes.
Below (in the second photo clockwise) you see our Grandpa "Moussas Nikolaos" clipping a sponge since he used to be one of the most important spongesellers in the old days.
At the beggining of the chemical process sponges are divided into categories, qualities and sizes. Later on they are placed, by qualified personnel, in seawater and acid solution plus some other elements so as to dissolve the various bodies that they contain, to become soft, to gain flexibility and finally get their characteristic white color.
*Brown sponges (that you see in our online shop) do not get under chemical process and they retain the natural color of the sponge.
After the chemical processing, sponges are spread to dry in the sun and after that they are ready for packing and shipping worldwide.