Cordoban leather

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Originally a soft, alum-tawed sheepskin made in Cordoba in the Middle Ages. After about the 14th century, the leather was prepared with vegetable tanning. The smooth finished leather was either white or dyed red and it became very popular for export. By the 19th century, Cordoban leather, or cordovan, was made from sheep, goat, pig skins as well as split horse hides. Currently, the term cordovan is generally used for the hind quarter section of a split horse hide. The durable skin has a fine pore texture that is polished to a waxy finish.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cuero de Córdoba (Esp.); cuir de Cordoue (Fr.); leer uit Cordoba (Ned); cordovão (Port.); cordwain; cordovan; Spanish leather; cordobán,

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 448
  • 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
  • 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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