Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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babul (bark)

A tree (Acacia arabica) found in India and Africa, the bark of which yields one of the most important indigenous tanning materials in the Northern areas of India and Pakistan. The average tannin content of the bark is about 12%, along with about 8% soluble non-tans. Babul is one of the condensed class of tannins, and, when used alone, tans very slowly and produces a leather that is somewhat harsh and dark in color, but firm and durable. It is usually used along withMYRABOLANS to improve color and reduce other undesirable characteristics resulting from the use of babul alone. In recent years the use of babul bark has declined in favor of WATTLE (BARK) . See also: VEGETABLE TANNINS .

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