Index of Leather Entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica MDCCCLXXXII

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LEATHER consist of the hides and skins of certain animals, prepared by chemical and mechanical means in such a manner as to resist influences to which in their natural condition they are subject and also to give them certain entirely new properties and qualities. Skins in an unprepared moist condition are readily disintegrated and destroyed by putrefaction, and if they are dried raw they become hard, horny, and intractable. The art of the leather manufacturer is principally directed to overcoming the tendency to putrefaction, to securing suppleness in the material, to rendering it impervious to and unalterable by water, and to increasing the strength of the skin and its power to resist tear and wear.

Leather is made by three processes, or with three classes of substances. Thus we have – (1) tanned leather, in which the hides and skins are combined with tannin or tannic acid; (2) tawed leather, in which skins are prepared with mineral salts; (3) shamoyed leather, consisting of skins combined with oils or fatty substances.

Tanned Leather

Hides and Skins

Structure of Skin

Tanning Materials

Grinding and Leaching of Leather Tanning Materials

Testing Tan Liquors

Sole Leather or Heavy Leather Tanning

Upper Leather

Splitting Leather

Currying Leather

Patent or Enamelled Leather

Seal Leather

Russia Leather

Morocco and Thin Leathers

Sheep and Goat Leather

Danish Leather

Alligator Leather

Kangaroo Leather


Tawed Leather

Calf Kid

Glove Kid

Hungarian Leather

Heinzerling’s Chrome-tanned Leather

Shamoy or Oil Leather

Parchment, Vellum, and Shagreen.

Victorian Leather Commerce and Statistics.

Artificial Leather