Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Cordoban leather

Originally, a "leather" that was basically alum-tawed hair sheepskin, usually of a naturally white color but also dyed red. It was first produced in Córdoba, Spain, by a combination of Arab and Spanish craftsmen following the Moorish invasion of the 8th century. Sometime during the 14th or 15th century the method of producing Cordoban changed from tawing to vegetable tannage. Within Spain the name for all these materials, including CORDOVAN LEATHER , was guadameci. The terms "Cordoban." "Cordovan," and "Spanish leather" have been used in England for centuries to denote indiscriminately several kinds of leather, some imported from Spain, others from France and Holland, as well as some actually produced in England and called "cordwain," which is probably a corruption of the French cordouan. (351 )




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