Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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green fleshing

A method of applying mechanical action to hides or skins after they have been soaked to a softened condition. It is done by scraping the flesh side with a curved blade on the beam, or, in the usual manner today, in a fleshing machine. In the tanning of heavy leather, FLESHING frequently takes place following liming and unhairing; however, green fleshing, which takes place before liming, has several advantages: 1) it provides a more uniform grain surface for unhairing and helps prevent grain damage during machine unhairing; 2) the physical compression by both the feed rolls and fleshing cylinder materially prevent excessive plumping of the softened hide fibers during subsequent liming; 3) a comparatively thick flesh, particularly one of a fatty nature, reduces soaking, bactericidal, and liming effects; and 4) the formation of calcium soaps during liming and oily matter during tanning is held to a minimum, particularly when poor or insufficient curing has resulted in the presence of free fatty acids in the fatty tissue. Also called "soak fleshing." (306 )

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