Tanning Processes


  • MINERAL TAN:
Soft, stretchy, and flexible; Many colors available; Usually has a white ‘core’ when cut; Chrome Tanning is the most common mineral tannage;
Suedes, upholstery, garments, shoes.

  • OIL TAN:
Soft, flexible, somewhat stretchy, waterproof, and durable; Usually thick; Can leave oil residue;
Protective coverings, chaps, aprons, shoes


  • VEGETABLE TAN:
Usually thick and stiff; Can be carved or molded; Very strong with very little stretch; Limited colors, but can be dyed;
Thongs, cases, boxes, armour, boots, shoe soles and saddles.


  • SPECIALTY TAN (RAWHIDE):
Hard; Strong; Brittle; Can be molded and inked;
Drum heads; lacing;


  • DUAL OR COMBINATION TAN:   Using more than one of the above processes on the same hide
Different results are possible when the leather is treated more than once – it can become softer and more flexible, or firmer with a tighter grain. Properties of each tannage can be enhanced or modified by the second process.
Latigo is the most common type of dual tanned leather.
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