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Re: Test for chrome tanned leather

Dear Cor and List,

Cut a small piece of the offending leather and place in a small crucible.
Heat to an extent where the residual carbon is also burnt-off.  If chrome
is present, even in low amounts, the green ash should indicate this.

However, it is also worth noting, that other mineral tannages will also
give similar working characteristics as a chrome retanned leather, such as
Aluminium and Zirconium.  If these are present, then the above test will
not be of any use.

kind regards,


At 10:17 27/07/98 +0200, you wrote:
>Dear all,
>(apologies for cross-posting this message):
>Recently I bought 12 calfskins which are vegetably tanned. At least that's
what the
>vendor claims. Working with the leather (paring, gluing) it seems to me
that is is at
>least a different type of leather and I wonder if it is minerally
(after)tanned with chrome.
>Is there a SIMPLE way to determine wether there's chrome involved in the
tanning of
>this leather ? So no spectometry etc. but a test which can be done "at home".
>I know of the blueisch/greyisch layer between the grain and fleshside but
that is only
>very faint (still it is there...). I've also tried a simple shrinkage test
(chrome tanned
>leather normally has a higher Ts but both samples (old and new) shrank
below 100 C)
>Any tips are very much appreciated.
>Cor Knops.

David M. Lanning
J. Hewit & Sons Ltd. (London)
Tel: +44 (0) 181 965 5377
Fax:+44 (0) 181 453 0414
e-mail: sales@xxxxxxxxx
web site: http://www.hewit.com

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