Chapter 1

Understanding of Leather Tanning

Carmen Gaidau

Abstract

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.

Total Pages: 3-19 (17)

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