Tanning with fats and oils

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Tanning skins and hides with fats and oils is a very old method. It involves using fat-rich animal substances such as brain, fish oil, sebum or marrow. It can also be done with soap, claw oil, yak butter or egg yolk. In olden times, animals were mainly hunted for food, clothing and shelter and using animal fats to preserve their skins was common practice.

It is believed that 5,000 years ago, leather for shoes, tent walls, straps and leather clothing had been preserved by fat tanning and subsequent smoking.

Schuh-Oetzi.jpg Zeltwand-Leder-01.jpg

Leather thousands of years ago: Shoes and tent walls.


Additional information

Videos about the leather production

The leather production in a modern tannery.

Brain tanning.

Tanning methods
Chrome tanning - Vegetable-tanned leather - Synthetic tanning - Tanning with fats and oils