Morocco leather



The goat-skins being first dried in the air, are steeped in water 3 days and nights, then stretched on a tanner's horse, beaten with a large knife, and steeped afresh in water every day; they are then thrown into a large vat on the ground, full of water, where quicklime has been slaked, and there lie 15 days, whence they are taken, and again returned every night and morning. They are next thrown into a fresh vat of lime and water, and shifted night and morning for 15 days longer, then rinsed in clean water, and the hair taken off on the leg with the knife, returned into a third vat, and shifted as before for 18 days; steeped 12 hours in a river, taken out, rinsed, put in pails, where they are pounded with wooden pestles, changing the water twice; then laid on the horse, and the flesh taken off; returned into pails of new water, taken out, and the hair-side scraped; returned into fresh pails, taken out and thrown into a pail of a particular form, having holes at bottom; here they are beaten for the space of an hour, and fresh water poured on from time to time; then being stretched on the leg, and scraped on either side, they are returned into pails of fresh water, taken out, stretched, and sowed up all round, in the manner of bags, leaving out the hinder legs, as an aperture for the conveyance of a mixture described below.

The skins thus sewed are put to luke-warm water, where dog's excrements have been dissolved. Here they are stirred with long poles for an hour, left at rest for 12 hours, taken out, rinsed in fresh water, and filled by a tunnel with a preparation of water and sumach, mixed and heated over the fire till ready to boil; and, as they are filled, the hind legs are sewed up to stop the passage. In this state they are let down into the vessel of water and sumach, and kept stirring for 4 hours successively; taken out and heaped on one another; after a little time their sides are changed and thus they continue 1 1/2 hours till drained. This done, they are loosened, and filled a second time with the same preperation, sewed up again, and kept stirring 2 hours, piled up and drained as before. This process is again repeated, with this difference, that they are then only stirred 1/4 of an hour; after which they are left till next morning, when they are taken out, drained on a rack, unsewed, the sumach taken out, folded in two from head to tail, the hair-side outwards, laid over each other on the leg, to perfect their draining, stretched out and dried; then trampled under foot by two and two, stretched on a wooden table, what flesh and sumach remains scraped off, the hair-side rubbed over with oil, and that again with water.

They are then wrung with the hands, stretched, and pressed tight on the table with an iron instrument like that of a currier, the flesh-side uppermost; then turned, and the hair-side rubbed strongly over with a handful of rushes, to squeeze out as much of the oil remaining as possible. The first coat of black is now laid on the hair-side, by means of a lock of hair twisted and steeped in a kind of black dye, prepared of sour beer, wherein pieces of old rusty iron have been thrown. When half-dried in the air they are stretched on a table rubbed over every way with a paumelle, or woodentoothed instrument, to raise the grain, over which is passed a light couche of water, then sleeked by rubbing them with rushes prepared for the purpose. Thus sleeked, they have a second couche of black, then dried, laid on the table, rubbed over with a paumelle of cork, to raise the grain again; and after a light couche of water, sleeked over anew; and to raise the grain a third time, a paumelle of wood is used.

After the hair-side has received all its preparations, the flesh-side is pared with a sharp knife for the purpose; the hair-side is strongly rubbed over with a woollen cap, having before given it a gloss with barberries, citron or orange. The whole is finished by raising the grain lightly, for the last time, with the paumelle of cork; so that they are now fit for the market





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