Home >> Cyclopedia Of India, Volume 2 >> Circassia to Hindustan >> Hides


leather, tanned, skins, hide, gloves, shoes, dressed and india


Hud, . . . DAN., SW. Bahllang, Kulit, MALAY. Huiden, . . . . DDT. Penes, . . . . PORT, Peaux, Fa Koshi, . . . . Rue.

Haute, . . . . GER. Charms, . . . SANSK.

Chamra, . . . HIND. Pellejos, Pieles, . . Sr.

Cuoja, Pelle, . . . IT. Tolu, . TAM., TEL.

Pellis, . . . . LAT. Den, . . . TURK.

Hides and skins, raw, dressed, and tanned, form a large item of the exports from India, and since the year 1851 the quantities and values ex ported have largely increased, while amongst the millions of India they are largely used. In every part of S. India extensive tanneries have been established, chiefly by the Labbai Mahomedans. The value of the exports from India have been as under, for hides and skins, raw and dressed :— 185142, . £303,089 1860-61, . £656,629 1852-53, . 337,849 1874-75, . 2,677,765 1853-54, . 402,365 1875-76, . 2,943,5731854-55, . 402,386 1876-77, . 2,991,022 1855-56, 431,729 1877-78, . 3,756,887 1856-57, . 572,530 1878 -79, . 3,186,845 1857-58, . 639,702 1879-80, . 3,733,005 1858-59, . 544,680 1880-81, . 3,733,5651859-60, . 444,537 1881-82, . 3,948,792 About the year 1850, nearly 40,000 tons of leather, hides, and skins were annually imported into Britain ; the total imports into Great Britain of hides and skins, in 1880, was 83,397 tons, value £6,910,847.

All untanned leather is classed under the denominations of hides, kips, and skins. From these there are various kinds of leather tanned. Butts and backs are selected from the stoutest and heaviest ox hides. The butt is formed by cutting off the skin of the head for glue, also the cheeks, the shoulder, and a strip of the belly on each side. In the back, the cheeks and belly are cut off, but the shoulder is retained. The butt or back of the ox hide forms the stoutest and heaviest leather, such as is used for the soles of boots and shoes, -for most parts-of harness and saddlery, for leather trunks and buckets, hose for fire - engines, pump - valves, soldiers' belts, and gloves for cavalry. Bides consist of cow hides, or the lighter ox hides and buffalo hides ; they are the same as butts with the bellies on. Hides are sometimes tanned whole, and are struck for sole leather, in which case they are called crop hides. Skins are used for all the lighter kinds of leather.

Bull hide is thicker, stronger, and coarser in its grain than cow hide. The hide of the bullock is intermediate between the two.

Calf-skin is thinner than cow's. It is tanned for the bookbinder, and tanned and curried for the upper part of shoes and boots.

Sheep-skins are tanned and employed for book binding, leathering for common bellows, whip lashes, bags, aprons, etc.; also for the cheaper kinds of wash -leather for breeches, gloves, and under-waistcoats; and are also coloured and dyed leathers and mock morocco, used for women's shoes, for covering writing-tables, stools, chairs, and sofas, lining carriages, etc.

Lamb-skins are dressed white or coloured, for gloves ; are very extensively used with the hair on in the N.W. Himalaya, Afghanistan, Hazara, Kafiristan, Tartary, Tibet, China, and Persia, as articles of dress for the head, and for mantles.

Goat-skins form the best dyed morocco of all colours. Kid-skins supply the finest white and coloured leather for gloves and ladies' shoes.

Deer-skins are all slunoyed, or dressed in oil, I chiefly for riding breeches. Shamoyed leather of sheep, goat, and deer-skins was formerly a lucrat ive branch of the leather trade, for breeches, white or dyed.

Horse hide is tanned and curried for harness work, for collars, etc. Enamelled horse hide, split or shaved thin, is used for ladies' shoes, in imitation of seal, but does not produce so good a leather as seal.

Dog-skin is thin, but tough, and makes good leather. Most of the dog-skin gloves are really made of lamb-skin.

Seal-skin makes a valuable leather, but a large proportion of seal-skins is used as fur.

Ilog-skin affords a thin, porous leather, which is used for covering the seats of saddles.

I Iguana skins can be tanned and dyed black, or left of their natural colour. They are thin, even, soft, tough, elastic, and granular or shagreen-like in external appearance. It bids fair to be a dur able article for light slippers, and a good covering for the commoner kinds of instrument boxes, such as are still done over with shagreen. Python skin, when tanned, makes excellent boots, much prized for their strength, pliability, and great beauty, as they are handsomely marked. The skins of young alligators are tanned, converted into leather, and the leather manufactured into boots.

Wash-leather skins are prepared with oil, in imitation of chamois, for household purposes, such as cleaning plate, brasses, and harness.

Leather is made from the skin of salmon and other fish.