Jump to navigation Jump to search
Turkish lute
MFA# 1975


A fine-grain Leather made from the hide of a calf. Milk-fed calves have a softer, smoother skin than cattle that have eaten grass and they sometimes have fat wrinkles that cannot be removed by tanning. Calfskins are usually vegetable tanned or chrome tanned. The strong durable leather was commonly used as a bookbinding leather from 1450 to 1800 (Roberts and Etherington 1982). Currently, calfskins are primarily used for shoe uppers, handbags, and gloves. Calfskin that has been waxed is called French calf. Russia calf was tanned with Willow bark and rubbed with Birch bark oil.


Synonyms and Related Terms

piel de becerro (Esp.); piel de ternero (Esp.); cuir de veau (Fr.) velin (Fr.); kalfsleer (Ned); pele de vitela (Port.); calfe (Port.); French calf; Russia calf; calf leather;kipskins; French calf; Russia calf

Resources and Citations

  • M.Roberts, D.Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1982.
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 447
  • 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

Retrieved from ""