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Re: unpleasant leathers

Dorothy and Elaine have seen ugly human skins, but that's not always true,
just as I have seen ugly calf, goat, sheep, etc. Much has to do with the
usual factors: the diet of the animal, the conditions in which it lived, the
tanning and dyeing (if any). Most of the skins we get for binding are
carefully selected at every stage of processing, from the slaughterhouse to
the warehouse. Since there are legal issues around the tanning of human
skins, I doubt many of the examples quoted were handled by a professional
tannery. A properly vegetable tanned human skin will be as supple as any
other skin of similar mammalian species. It is much like deerskin in its
quality, though the pores and grain are distinctive.

Perhaps the skins described were salted rather than tanned, or limed and not
tanned, etc.

I made alum tawed ratskin for my binding of Patti Smith's _Babel_ in 1979,
and it was quite horny until it was fatliquored.


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