Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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tara

A vegetable tanning material obtained from the dried pods of a tree or shrub, Caesalpinia spinosa, which is found in widespread areas of north western South America. The tannin content of the pods is said to range from 35 to 55%. The principal value of tara is in the tanning of light leathers, and, under certain circumstances, it may also be used as a substitute for sumac or gambier to produce light-colored leathers. Tara is of the pyrogallol class of tannins, somewhat similar to, but more astringent than, sumac. Its major shortcoming seems to he the presence in it of diffusion-inhibiting mucilaginous material. It is also used to some extent in dyeing and the manufacture of ink. See also: VEGETABLE TANNINS .

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