Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

leather - Forms of leather, Preservation and conditioning of leather, Working with leather, Main manufactures, Cordwain

skin porous structure chamois

Animal skin rendered durable and resistant to wear and degeneration by tanning. The skin is limed to remove hair, cleaned of flesh, and then soaked in solutions of extracts of bark, galls, or other vegetable products which contain tannins (tannic acids widely distributed in nature) or chrome salts. It is finished mechanically according to use. The properties of leather are due to its fibrous and porous structure, and to its resistance to deterioration on repeated wetting and drying. Morocco leather is a goat skin, repeatedly polished. Chamois leather was originally from the chamois deer, but most is now from other skins split and tanned for softness. Synthetic materials with a porous structure resembling leather are now made.

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