The first method of drying is to extract as much water as possible from the skin (dehydration) and can occur in the sun (traditionally used in very dry tropical areas such as Africa and South America Uruguay Paraguay and Argentina). This drying pattern is usually too fast (sun dried) and brings to a bad preservation that substantially dries the outside too quickly while the inside is deteriorated because it does not dry out completely. One variant of this form of drying is to make it dry with air (air dried). This relieves the previous problem but does not solve it entirely because the skins are often not well-stretched and therefore they take irregular shapes and bends.

Sun Dried Leather

second more elaborate drying method is to dry the skins after they have been pulled with lumber through the frames and placed in suspension under the canopies for the time needed for total drying. As a general remark, with reference to the above points, it is necessary to specify the specific weight of the material: sun dried skins are those with the highest specific weight because they retain a higher percentage of moisture. Stated “100” the “green weight” (leather just extracted and skinned) sun-skinned skins will have a weight of “85”, those shaded in shade “80”, and those on frames “70”.

The third way to conserve the raw skins it is the use of salt, usually sodium chloride. It’s the most popular preservation mode today and allows us to get the best quality skins.

Wet Salted Cow Bellies

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Wet Salted Cow & Bull Bellies