Very early on in human history, people had developed methods of making clothes, shoes, bags and straps from the skins of freshly killed animals. This involved removing the hair from the skins, ensuring they didn’t rot, and keeping them as supple as possible.
Leather production took place in three major steps. The first step was curing the fresh hides, the second step involved the actual tanning, and in the third step, the tanned leather was finished depending on its final purpose.
To cure the fresh or “raw” skins, they were laid flat and covered with common salt and the salted skins were left to cure for some time.
To remove the salt from the skins, they were then suspended in the village stream for a few days – which for environmental reasons would be unthinkable today!
The skins were then left to drain. And from that point on, the methods diverged. Hides that were to become hard leather were treated differently from those that were to become soft leather.
All depictions: © Gemeinde Fricklingen