Morocco leather

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1) A glossy, pebble-grain Goatskin tanned with Sumac. Morocco leather has a pinhead grain pattern that is obtained by hand boarding. It became popular in the 1770's for bookbinding. With time, the term Morocco leather became used for all vegetable tanned goatskins and now refers to various types of skins prepared with a hard surface and an artificial pebble-grain pattern. Early Morocco leathers were strong and very durable. During the 19th century, they were used in high quality bookbindings, purses, bags, and wallets.

2) The skin from the small Boroso shark found in the Mediterranean. This type of Morocco leather is also called Boroso Sharkskin and rousette leather.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Boroso sharkskin; rousette leather; curtido marroquí (Esp.); marroquim (Port.); marokijn(leer) (Ned);

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
  • American Leather Chemists Association Glossary at
  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: "Bookbinding" 1770s
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 704