Tanning Leather: Not a Lost Art

Many years ago, in Morocco, I was able to tour an ancient tannery and see some of the process of creating beautiful leather.  I use leather for many projects and although I do some brain tanning myself, I purchase all of my truly "tanned" leathers from others. One very important lesson about tanning I learned …

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Hide Tanning 1769

Here are some images from hide tanning workshops from Diderot's Encyclopedia, 1769 that I found interesting as a leather worker and occasional hide tanner. If you have done any hide tanning you'll recognize the tools of the trade.  Not much changes for the small-time home tanner. I suspect this is some hot and smelly work …

Working a Hide

Fleshing a hide on a beam.  A familiar site to only a few of us these days but a common one for most of our history. Source: Turkestanskii al’bom, chast’ promyslovai︠a︡, 1871-1872, part 3, p. 26.