Posted by Emil on 5/21/2019 to
Leather making is an ancient art that has been practiced for more than 7,000 years. Fresh skins were dried in the sun, softened by pounding in animal fats and brains, and preserved by salting and smoking. Beginning with simple drying and curing techniques, the process of vegetable tanning was developed by the Egyptians and Hebrews about 400 bce. During the Middle Ages the Arabs preserved the art of leather making and so improved it that morocco and cordovan (from Córdoba, Spain) became highly prized leathers. By the 15th century, leather tanning was once more widespread in Europe, and, by the mid-19th century, power-driven machines that performed such operations as splitting, fleshing, and dehairing were introduced. Toward the end of the 19th century, chemical tannage—which included the use of oak, sumac, and hemlock tanbark and chrome salts—was introduced.