Chamois leather

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The soft, supple yellow leather prepared from the skin of the chamois goats native to the Alps. Chamois leather was originally tanned with cod liver oil. It can be soaked in hot water and dried, but still remain soft and supple. Chamois is used for clothing and as blending, erasing and polishing cloths. Modern chamois leathers are prepared from inner side of sheepskins or lambskins. To use the name chamois, they must be split, oil-dressed, and mechanically sueded. Artificial chamois leathers are made from sheepskins tanned with Formaldehyde or Alum then impregnated with oil and sueded. Synthetic chamois cloths are made from polyvinyl alcohol fibers.

Chamois leather

Synonyms and Related Terms

chamois (Fr.); zeemleer (Ned); chammy; shammy; shamoy

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 181
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
  • American Leather Chemists Association Glossary at

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