Tanned, semi-tanned and raw hides and skins, with or without hair or wool from mammals (mostly from cattle sheep, goats and pigs), birds, fish and reptiles have been used as furnishings from ancient times. Consideration is given here to the nature of the raw material, the processes used to convert skin to leather, and the relation between structure, processing and properties. Methods of working leather and the uses to which it has been put are also briefly discussed and short sections on parchment, skins in the hair and sharkskin are included.
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