Understanding of Leather Tanning
Pp. 3-19 (17)
Leather tanning is one of the oldest human activities, which intelligently
exploits an animal by-product, natural leather. Although lost in the mists of history, the
evolution of leather processing is closely related to the history of humankind and
scientific progress. Types of tanning practiced by mankind are closely related to
intuitive knowledge about conservation of organic, putrescible materials and chemical
materials which interact with the former. Natural leather processing is presented in
conjunction with the evolution of human society and historical epochs. Understanding
the leather tanning process is closely related to understanding the interactions between
different functional groups of collagen and crosslinkers: vegetable tanning agents,
aldehydes or chromium salts. The connection between the value of using leather, its
properties and the method of processing is the foundation of understanding natural
leather processing technologies and the start of a journey into the fascinating world of
alternative ecologic processing and chemistry of mineral tanning agents.
Leather processing, Leather history, Collagen crosslinking, Mineral
tanning, Vegetable tanning, Chromium basic salts.
Leather and Footwear Research Institute Bucharest Romania.