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Handbook for Shoe and Leather Processing - Leathers, Tanning, Fatliquoring, Finishing, Oiling, Waterproofing, Spotting, Dyeing, Cleaning, Polishing, R

Handbook for Shoe and Leather Processing - Leathers, Tanning, Fatliquoring, Finishing, Oiling, Waterproofing, Spotting, Dyeing, Cleaning, Polishing, R

Di Anon

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Handbook for Shoe and Leather Processing - Leathers, Tanning, Fatliquoring, Finishing, Oiling, Waterproofing, Spotting, Dyeing, Cleaning, Polishing, R

Di Anon

5/5 (1 valutazione)
461 pagine
6 ore
Apr 16, 2013


This vintage handbook on leathercrafting and shoemaking remains a helpful and practical text for anyone interested in leatherworking and traditional crafts. The guide provides advice and instructions on a variety of leathercraft and shoemaking processes, and also includes chapters dedicated to leather accessories, luggage and upholstery. We are republishing this vintage text in a high quality, modern and affordable edition, featuring a newly written introduction. Complete contents: Leather Crafting; Preface; 1 introduction; 2 Leathers; 3 Leather Tanning, Fatliquoring, Dyeing, and Finishing; 4 Leather Dyes and Finishes (Shoe Dyes and Finishes; 5 Suede Dyes, Cleaners, and Finishes; 6 Gabardine Fabric Shoes, Sizings and Finishes (Cleaning and Dyeing); 7 White Shoe Cleaners and Finishes; 8 Deglazing, Washing, and Preparation of Leathers for Dyeing; 9 Satin Shoes and Dyes (Cleaning and Dyeing); 10 Dyeing and Finishing of Smooth Leather Shoes and Leathers; 11 Cleaning and Dyeing of Suede Shoes and Leathers; 12 Colour Restoring Preparations and Processes; 13 Patent Leathers, Cleaning, Softening, Dyeing, and Finishing; 14 Smooth Leather Cleaners and Polishes; 15 Gold and Silver Shoes and Leathers; 16 Novelty Colours and Finishes in Shoes and Leathers; 17 Leather Coats and Jackets; 18 leather Gloves; 19 Leather Accessories; 20 Leather Luggage; 21 Leather Furniture, upholstery, and trimming; 22 Leather Cements and Glues; 23 Removing Spots and Stains From Leathers; 24 Shoe and Leather Oils, Greases, and Waterproofings; Glossary; Bibliography; Notes.
Apr 16, 2013

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Handbook for Shoe and Leather Processing - Leathers, Tanning, Fatliquoring, Finishing, Oiling, Waterproofing, Spotting, Dyeing, Cleaning, Polishing, R - Anon




This book has been compiled and written by the author in an attempt to, in some measure, supply the impressive demand and need of the shoe trade, leather workers, leather dye and processing workers, for a technical handbook; a handbook that will outline the basic chemical principles and technical information needed by these individuals in their businesses of handling, cleaning, dyeing, finishing, oiling, and processing of shoes and all other types and kinds of leather goods.

In traveling among the shoe trade and leather workers throughout the Western States, the author has been impressed by the many ideas, methods, and processes found among the above outlined groups of tradesmen. In some cases complete chemical impossibilities were in practice; also it was found that some individuals were using ineffective and conflicting chemical processes. On the other hand, some very highly skilled and developed methods were found in use, denoting a keen sense of observation and study on the part of the individual. Between these two extremes were found the great groups of shoe and leather dealers and leather workers, including the shoe dealer, the shoe repair man, the shoe dyer, the shoe shine man, the luggage manufacturer and renovator, the leather goods cleaner, the art leather worker, and a great many others interested in and working with leather goods. In nearly every case, however, there was found an earnest desire to secure more complete, accurate, and workable information which would aid these people to turn out more effective and efficient work.

A most interesting observation could be made, namely, that the more highly skilled and informed the individual, the greater his desire for more information. Possibly this has always been true, and it indicates the motivating drive that has caused our civilization to develop and our sciences to reach their present status.

Up to the present time, there has been no text available for the worker and dealer in the above outlined trades. No text which would enable him to learn the basic and fundamental principles of his selected trade. True, there are numerous circulars and prejudiced advertising matter put out by the various manufacturers to sell their merchandise. But, although these are commendable, in as much as they provide the only material available, still they are not detailed and broad enough to provide a non-biased, accurate, and well rounded source of information. They do not form a source from which one can develop the most efficient and effective methods, and provide a basis of understanding of the chemical principles involved in the working trade of processing leather goods. This book is compiled and written in an effort to, in some measure, supply this need. For this reason it is compiled in handbook form in order to provide, not only a source of information, but also to provide a ready reference handbook.

Leathers are followed through from the various processes of tanning, to the numerous products into which they are made. The chemicals and solutions that are used in the many functions of treating, cleaning, dyeing, and finishing of leathers are described and their applications explained and outlined. The various processes of dyeing and finishing of leather goods are particularly emphasized.

A compilation has been made of all available information that could be secured. This has been supplemented and augmented by the results of the intensive and extensive research that has been, and is being, carried on at the Stockdale Laboratories, Inc., of Berkeley, California, in the development of better cleaners, dyes, and finishes for leathers, and processes for working leather goods.

The author recognizes without comment the value of skilled workmanship in the processing of leather goods. There is no doubt but that skilled and highly developed methods for handling dyes, finishes, and chemicals in the processing of leather goods will, in many instances, offset incorrect selection of the most effective dyes and preparations to be used. They will enable the operator to produce fairly satisfactory work. But even in such cases it is obvious that the quality of work can be improved with a better understanding of the chemical principles involved, and with the selection of the most effective chemicals, dyes, and solutions for the processing work. On the other hand, the use of the most effective dyes and solutions can be most unsatisfactory if the wrong methods or techniques are employed. In other words, the author contends, and can demonstrate, that with the proper technique the poorest types of dyes and finishes can be used to turn out quite satisfactory work; while on the other hand, the best dyes and finishes made will not turn out satisfactory work unless used correctly.

It is the author’s aim to have this book as little biased as possible in regard to the recommendation of the various manufacturers’ products. In discussing the products to be used for most effective work, or, the relative effectiveness of the various types of chemical concoctions for use in leather processing, the types of chemicals or dye solutions will be named and outlined in regard to their chemical nature or classification, rather than to any manufacturer’s branded products, unless such branded products stand alone in the field of competition or development. On this basis then, the operator can apply the information and the outline of technique as found in this handbook to any manufacturer’s products if he is able, in turn, to correctly classify or identify the various manufacturer’s products.

In order for one to completely comprehend all the factors involved the author has attempted to outline the three necessary divisions of materials and functions. First, there is the description of the various kinds of leathers, their origin, development to leathers, and the processes involved in converting the various skins and hides into leathers. In this division of materials is also outlined the various types of leather finishes found in the finished merchandise and leather products. Second, there is an outline and consideration of the various chemicals, dyes, cleaners, restorers, and polishes used in the treating, processing, dyeing, and finishing of leather products. Also, there are outlines and classifications of the various formulas, solutions, and chemical concoctions that are manufactured for the above outlined work. Third, there is an outline and description of the various methods and techniques involved in the application of the second division of chemicals and dyes to the first division, which includes the leathers and materials. In this last division is outlined the various methods and techniques of cleaning, dyeing and finishing of the numerous kinds and types of leather products, including shoes, luggage, bags, coats, gloves, trimmings, and accessories. The author does not attempt to recommend any fixed method or any certain definite solutions. But rather, he attempts to outline, discuss and analyze the various methods and solutions that can be used in the processing of leather goods, and to attempt to point out their relative merit and effectiveness. There is no question but that if one studies the discussions and outlines contained in this text, and intelligently selects compatible methods and solutions in the handling of them, he will be able to develop an effective combination of technique and selection of appropriate solutions to do highly successful processing of the various kinds of leather merchandise.

The bibliography in the back of this book outlines all the pertinent publications the author has been able to secure. Inasmuch as there have been no regular texts published in this field before the references are limited to specific circulars published by manufacturers on some particular product or process. The books referred to are in other fields, but have some application to the leather field. Thus if one wishes to follow up these references and study the material found, it would quite naturally broaden his information a good deal.



1. Introduction

Animal skin is the basis of leather. Some knowledge of its intricate structure and complex chemical composition is essential to an understanding of the complicated reactions involved in making leather. While this text will not attempt to go into a complete outline of the chemistry of the various skins, it will outline briefly and plainly the elementary principles involved in the various skins, and their development into leathers. This chapter is concerned with an outline of the definite types of skins used in making leather.

It is the derma, or true skin, that is actually used to make leather. The chief leather forming constituent of the derma is collagen, the protective substance of the white fibers of connective tissue. A skin composed chiefly of fat cells is of little value in making leather, and one in which large groups of fat cells are interspersed between the collagen cells will yield only a spongy leather. On the other hand, a skin composed of a high content of collagen cells or connective tissues, closely knit or interlaced, will produce leather of high strength and durability.

In the manufacture of various leather articles, the structure of the different skins has to be taken into consideration, so that the proper type of leather can be chosen to fit the requirements in the production of the kind of leather articles desired.

2. Cow Hide Leathers

In selecting skins for the production of heavy and durable leather, the hide of the steer or cow is chosen. This is the type of skin suitable for manufacture into sole leather, or heavy belting, or harness leather. Upward to 80 per cent of the total thickness of the hide consists of heavy interlacing bundles of collagen fibers, the chief leather forming constituent of skin, and very little of the fat cells that tend to make the leather spongy. This body of collagen fibers produces not only strength, but thickness and body, so necessary in the production of sole leather, especially the heavy sole leather used for the manufacture of men’s work shoes and boots.

In the manufacture of heavy belting for large industrial plants this strong heavier leather is also required.

3. Calf Skin Leathers

A calf skin, very naturally, appears much like a cow hide in miniature. As a rule the skin of a heifer calf has greater solidity and fineness of appearance than that of a steer calf, and is, consequently, to be preferred for leather making. Calf skins are generally used for making leathers where fineness of appearance of the grain surface is highly valued. This is in contrast to the use of cow hides, which are used in the making of heavy leathers, sole leather, harness leather, and belting, where weight, body, and durability are the features most highly desired.

Thus leather made from calf skin is used widely by manufacturers of shoes, in luggage and cases, brief cases, folders, purses, bags, etc.

In recent years there has been a considerable trend in the development of leathers with patterns to be used in the manufacture of style shoes and bags. These patterns take various forms, from the imitation of other skins, for example, pig, alligator, snake, other reptiles, etc., to entirely new and differently designed patterns. Calf skin is used most widely as the leather from which these patterned leathers are made, because of the uniformity, firmness and strength of the grain surface.

Patterned leathers are made by placing the skin between two steel plates, the top plate comes into contact with the grain surface, carrying the pattern desired. These plates are forced together under great hydraulic pressure. Also, the plates are controlled for temperature so that the required heat can be applied according to the type of leather desired.

Calf skin leathers are used most widely in leather craft, or decorative leather work, because of the uniform grain surface.

In days gone by, when leather covered furniture was popular, it was principally calf skin leathers that were used for that purpose. Generally speaking, however, a great variety of leathers have been used for leather covered furniture, ranging from artificial and patent leathers up to the heaviest cow hide leathers.

4. Sheep Skin Leathers

The collagen, or leather forming fibers of the sheep skin, are extremely thin and not closely interwoven. They tend to run parallel to the skin surface, which makes for looseness of texture.

In tanning, the sheep skins are usually split into two parts. The outer layers, called grains, are tanned to make leather suitable for bookbinding, coats, jackets, bags, gloves, hat bands, etc.; the inner layers are mostly converted into chamois leather. In recent years the popularity of suede leathers in shoes, bags, coats and jackets has developed a much more extensive use of sheep skin leathers. Sheep skin, as well as kid and goat leathers, produce excellent suede leathers.

A necessary character of suede leather is to be softer and more pliable than calf skin leathers. Thus the sheep skin, composed of loose texture, is most satisfactory, especially in the manufacture of suede jackets, coats, gloves, ladies’ bags, etc.

In the manufacture of suede uppers for ladies’ shoes, sheep skin suede is used very widely. Although suede leather is too soft to maintain its shape when used alone, when used as the suede leather coverage over adequately formed base or lining leather, it has all the appearance of maintaining the desired shape and form by itself.

However, sheep skin suede does not have the uniformity of suede texture of goat or kid suede. This is due to the lack of grain surface uniformity of sheep skin leather before the suede effect is produced by buffing.

If one were to make a list of all the uses of sheep skin leathers the list would be very long. Following is a list of many of the most common usages:

Manufacture of cheap shoes

Linings of shoes

Leather gloves and mittens


Handbags and pocket books

Saddle pads

Harness, bridles and straps

Boxing gloves

Baseball covers and gloves

Trimming and binding for wearing apparel

Hats, hat bands, and linings for hats


Imitation chamois skin

Drum heads


Leather coats and jackets

Heel protectors

Chair seats and leather trimmed furniture.

Many other miscellaneous articles

All in all, more sheep skins are turned into leather than any other kind of skin.

5. Goat and Kid Skin Leathers

In many respects the skin of the goat may be regarded as having a structure intermediate between that of the calf and the sheep. Both the goat and the sheep skins of the general market vary widely in quality and substance, thus producing the varied weights and features of these leathers as found in leather products.

The surface of goat skin is very much coarser than that of calf skin, and the pattern of the calf grain is considerably finer than that of the kid. The collagen fibers run nearly parallel to the surface, which gives these skins, in their most solid part, a softness and looseness found only in the flanks of the calf skin. For this reason the goat or kid leathers are used very widely and largely as uppers on ladies’ fine shoes.

The goat skin, tanned and dyed on the grain side, constitutes true Morocco kid leather. Compared with sheep skins, those of goats are much superior in texture, strength, and durability.

Kid skins converted into leathers are used extensively in the manufacture of gloves, slippers, and other light shoes. The name, kid leather, is used quite loosely by the shoe trade. In general it embraces both kid and goat skin leathers, as the term is applied by the average shoe salesman and shoe clerk. For practical purposes this is no doubt satisfactory, because the only difference is in the fineness and texture of the grain surface of the two kinds of leather. Even this difference is not clearly defined by a clear line of demarkation, but rather by a diffusion from the young kid leather up to the old goat according to the age of the animal at the time the skin was taken.

6. Horse Hide Leathers

The outstanding peculiarity of horse hide lies in the reticular layer, especially in the region of the butt, where there is a dense mass of collagen fibers, so compact as to render leather made from the butt naturally waterproof and nearly airtight. The rest of the hide, however, does not have this feature, and the fibers of the reticular layer are very loosely interwoven, giving the leather made from it a spongy characteristic that limits its use.

The outer layer of horse hide resembles that of cow hide.

The skin of the horse is much inferior to that of the steer or cow in qualities of strength, texture, and thickness. Therefore it is not suitable for making sole leather.

Horse hide finds other commercial uses, however, as: thongs for whips, leather aprons, leather base for enameled leathers, and other practical usages where a maximum strength is not of great importance. It is also used widely in leather luggage, especially in the lower priced field, where the leather is used as a coverage over a wooden base or frame, and little wear is needed, but still a leather-finished article of luggage is required.

7. Pig Skin Leathers

Pig skin has a comparatively low value for leather manufacture. The reticular layer is composed chiefly of fat cells, which have practically no value in making leather. An outstanding characteristic of pig skin leather is its roughness of surface.

The abundance of fat cells in the reticular layer produces a soft spongy leather. It is not widely used in the manufacture of leather articles requiring maximum toughness and wearability of grain surface. But it is used to some extent in the manufacture of specialty articles and style apparel in ladies’ shoes, bags, and more extensively in men’s gloves.

Pig skin leather has practically no water resistant qualities and for that reason is not used in the manufacture of merchandise requiring qualities for wear, strength, durability, and resistance to the elements. It is used almost entirely in the manufacture of style merchandise where the appearance only is the primary feature desired.

There has been a wide use of the name pig skin in ladies’ shoes. However, for the most part these were not real pig skin at all, but calf skin patterned to resemble the appearance of genuine pig skin. Some real pig skin has been used in the manufacture of ladies’ sport shoes, but because of their limited features, such manufactured articles have not been merchandised very successfully.

One of the most characteristic features of pig skin is its lightness. Also, it has sufficient toughness and durability to be used in the manufacture of leather breeches, trimmings on riding breeches, and accessories.

8. Chamois Leather

Chamois leather is an oil tanned leather (refer to oil tannage). It is manufactured from the reticular split of sheep skins.

Because of the softness and flexibility of chamois leather, it is used widely for gloves, ladies’ hats, trimmings, jackets and many other novelties and accessories. Further, because of its peculiar features, it is widely used for washing windows, drying water from cars after washing, filtering water from gasoline, and for many other operations in everyday life.

One of the most outstanding characteristics of chamois leather is its softness and its complete lack of stiffness or body. This does not allow it to maintain any shape or form in a manufactured article. For this reason it is only used in the manufacture of crushable articles, and articles where no maintained shape is desired.

9. Patent Leathers

The name Patent leather is applied to leather that is finished with enamel or lacquers. Inasmuch as patent leathers are discussed more fully in Chapter XIII, duplication will be eliminated here by referring to that chapter for the complete outlines and discussions on the subject.

10. Suede, Buck, and Nu-Buck Leathers

Suede leathers may be made from nearly all types of skins. The term suede applies to the finish of the leather rather than to the nature of the skin. Sheep skins and kid skins are used most extensively, however, in the manufacture of suede leathers.

The soft velvety nap finish is produced by placing the skin in a machine containing a revolving roller covered with emery cloth. The grain surface of the leather is forced against the roller and then drawn across it. The tiny fibers of the grain surface are severed, producing a soft nappy finish. The velvety quality of the suede leather depends entirely on the texture of the grain surface of the skin from which the suede is made. The finest suede is produced from kid leather because of the extremely fine layers of the collagen fibers compacted along the grain surface. Naturally the finer and more thickly interwoven these collagen fibers, the softer and more velvety will be the nap when the fibers are severed, and the loose ends pulled up to produce the suede effect. Calf skins would also produce a very fine suede.

However, the greatest source of skins for suede leather is from sheep skins. Possibly this is because of the greater abundance of sheep skins which provides cheaper leathers. While the sheep skin does not produce the highest quality suede leather, still it does produce a very satisfactory one.

Some coarser and cheaper suede leathers are made from split skins. Suede from these kinds of leathers is usually much harsher and the fibers of the suede coarse and long.

Buck finish leathers are a much heavier leather than the suede. They are produced from heavier skins: calf skins, steer hides, light cow hides, etc. Of course there are also the genuine buck skin leathers used in the making of buck finish leathers.

The characteristic of buck finish leathers is that they have a much shorter nap than the suede. Also the nap is harsher, which is a natural result from buffing heavier leathers with a fine emery cloth.

Buck finish leathers are used almost exclusively as uppers for men’s shoes and to some extent for uppers for women’s heavier sport shoes.

Nu-buck finish leather has a nap even shorter than the buck finish. In fact the finish hardly shows a nap whatever, but rather a soft finish. The same selection of skins is used in the making of Nu-buck finish as in the buck finish.

11. Raw Hide Leathers

For certain purposes such as drum-heads, saddle-tops, hammer-heads, scabbards, washers, etc., a very strong and stiff form of leather is required. To make such a product, the hides or skins are soaked, de-haired, and bated in the usual manner. After thorough washing they are carefully tacked on boards, the tacking being strong and close. The skins are then allowed to dry slowly, and as they dry contraction takes place, causing a more or less transparent condition. When stripped, they are ready for market. When used, such skins are dampened with warm water and stretched into whatever form desired.

Parchment is usually made from selected sheepskin treated in this manner.

a. Lace leather. Rawhide lace leather must be strong and soft, so it is necessary to separate the fibers and lubricate them so that they will remain pliable. This type of leather is used in lacings, whips, etc.

b. Buck skin leather. This is the deer skin leather made famous for its toughness and durability, as tanned by the North American Indians. Because of its pliability and toughness it is extremely well suited for laces and whip lashes. Also because of its pliability and toughness Indians used it for moccasins and other wearing apparel.

Today buck skin leathers are used in the manufacture of gloves and chamois leather.

12. Kangaroo Leathers

Kangaroo skins are characterized by great suppleness, toughness, and a grain several times thicker than the grain of any other kind of skin. The grain, after tanning, is very compact and resists the penetration of water and moisture, and it will not peel off or crack, as does that of goat and kid skins. Because of these qualities, kangaroo leather is especially suited for shoe material. It stands in a class by itself. It is especially suitable for shoes made for tender feet.

Kangaroo skins come from Australia only. Because of the limitations involved in wide breeding the supply of kangaroo skins is limited.

13. Alligator Leathers

This leather has found wide and popular usage in the manufacture of luggage, small leather articles, such as pocket-books, purses, bags, cases, etc., and uppers for women’s shoes. The genuine alligator skin supply has diminished with the popularity of these leathers. As a result a large percentage of the alligator-appearing leathers, as found in present day women’s shoes, are alligator-patterned calf leather.

Brazil and Africa are now the chief owners of the supply for alligator skins. Only the skin from the belly and sides of the alligator can be used for leather manufacture; the back, with its heavy coat of scales, is cut out and thrown away as worthless.

14. Reptile Leathers

Genuine reptile leathers are extremely limited because of the problems involved in securing them. However, there is a great quantity of imitation leathers in this field, which supplies the demands for such patterns, and produces a serviceable leather at reasonable cost. The embossing of patterns of crocodile, alligator, snake, lizzard, and other reptiles, is widely carried on at the present time with very satisfactory results.

15. Fish Skin Leathers

The detailed structure of fish skins is very different from those of mammals. Nevertheless fish skins yield

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