Formaldehyde tanning

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Formaldehyde is a strong reducing agent that reacts with proteins in a hide to form insoluble, stable compounds that are resistant to putrefaction. The use of formaldehyde was a standard tanning method for washable skins from sheep or lamb. It produces a strong, white, pliable, Leather that is water-resistant(Kuhn 1986).

Synonyms and Related Terms

aldehyde leather; formaldehyde tannage; curtimenta a formaldeído (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • 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
  • Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989
  • American Leather Chemists Association Glossary at