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leather shapes leather shapes



Descriptive terms used in connection with leather -continued

Bark tanned:- Bark tanning (in effect, vegetable-tanning) has been around for centuries. It creates water repellent, durable leather. Almost any skin can be vegetable-tanned, but it is usually used for tanning grain-on leathers. Large, thick hides from cattle, horses, buffalo etc. There would seem to be two followings for bark-tanning, one from the Mediterranean regions (which is the method we would normally think of as bark-tan) and the other from the colder regions of the Laplanders, Eskimos and eastern Russia, which is done on thinner, softer hides, such as deer or caribou. The specific differences being the length of time spent in the soaking. The less time soaking, "less tanning", thus a softer end product, and with thinner skins, seems entirely logical.

Basil:- This is a vegetable-tanned, smooth surfaced sheepskin usually finished un-dyed but sometimes finished with a plated dyed surface.

Bating:- The process prior to tanning proper where the fibres of a hide or skin which have been plumped or swollen by liming are reduced and softened, thus assuring pliability in the product. The word is a form of "abate" in the sense of "to reduce".

Belting leather:- Is a vegetable-tanned leather used in the furniture industry and similar applications where strength is a pre-requisite.

Blue, in the:- This is descriptive of hides that have been chrome-tanned. On removal from the tanning solution their appearance is of a light greeny-blue before they are dyed.

half hide

whole hide

1/4 hide

Half hide

Whole hide

Quarter hide

Boarded leather:- A raised grain leather produced by folding the skin in half, grain to grain, and firmly drawing a cork or rubber-faced board across the fold and forming a series of creases across the skin. If the skin is boarded in the transverse direction a series of small squares are produced. Box calf Morocco and coach hide are examples of boarded leather. It can be done by hand or machine, and helps to soften the leather. A century ago it was common practice to use the naked forearm for graining and polishing, and extraordinarily enough, it was considered the mark of the skilled craftsman the darker the skin on a man's arm, even though you were effectively tanning your own skin with the residue of the tannin.

Bulgar:- A Russian leather originating from Bolgar, a former kingdom on the Volga around Kazan. Produced from hides or horse fronts of tannin or mixed tannage, painted black. Used mostly to produce customary ethnic footwear.

Butt:- The part of a hide or skin corresponding to the animal's back and sides after trimming off shoulders and belly containing the thickest and stoutest leather and used for harness, belting, soles of shoes. Middle part of a hide, limited by the lines connecting the hollows of forelegs and rear legs and the line connecting groin hollows.

Boardy:- This descriptive term is applied to a stiff, inflexible leather. Not to be confused with "boarding" which is explained in the entry above, and is a process which softens the leather.

Buffed leather:- A leather which has been abraded or sueded. It is sometimes referred to as being snuffed leather, nubuck or grain-sueded leather.

Cape leather:- This was originally the soft-grained gloving- or garment-leather from South African hair sheep.

Carpincho:- A grain, gloving leather, made from the largest rodent in South America. It has a grain pattern very similar to that of the peccary, and is the leather commonly called hogskin.


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leather shapes leather shapes