Calf Kid: Tawed Leather Entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica MDCCCLXXXII

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Tawed Leather

Calf Kid .–The various steps of preparation through which the light skins suitable for this manufacture pass, in respect of softening, liming, unhairing, puring, and drenching, are similar to the process by which morocco skins are prepared for tanning. The tawing itself is accomplished in a drum or cylinder the same as the currier’s stuffing wheel, into which is introduced for one hundred average skins a mixture consisting of 20 lb of alum, 9 lb salt, 40 lb flour, 250 eggs (or about 1 1/3 gallons of egg yolk), 7/8 pint of olive oil, and 12 to 16 gallons of water. In this mixture, at a temperature of not more than 100º Fahr., the skins are worked for about forty minutes, by which action the tawing is completed. After the withdrawal from the drum the skins are allowed to drain, dried rapidly by artificial heat, damped, stalked out by drawing them over a blunt steel tool, and then wetted and shaved down on the beam to the required thickness. Next they receive, if necessary, a second treatment with the tawing mixture. The dyeing or colouring follows, which in the case of calf kid is always black, the colour consisting of a compound of bichromate of potash, stale urine, logwood extract, and copperas. It is applied either by brushes on a table, or by dyeing the leather in small vats as in the parallel case of morocco leather. The dyed leather is washed with pure water, dried, grounded with a curious moon knife, stretched in all directions, ironed, and oiled on the flesh side with a mixture of oil, wax, &c.