Hides and Skins

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hides and Skins


the skins of domestic and wild animals, as well as fur seals, fish, and reptiles, that are used as the raw materials in making leather.

The suitability of a skin for making a particular type of leather, as well as the peculiarities of the manufacturing process, is determined by the skin’s thickness and the uniformity of thickness over its area; by its size, weight, and density; by the thickness of the epidermis and degree of development of the hair covering; by the ratio of the papillose and reticulate layers of the dermis; by the nature of the interlacing of fibers, the thickness and condition of the subcutaneous cells, the peculiarities and degree of development of the surface components, and the chemical composition and properties of the protein substances; and by the presence of defects. These factors are influenced by the origin of the animal (species, breed, sex, and age) and the conditions of its life (climate, captivity, and feeding), the time and method of slaughtering the animal (skins taken from animals that died naturally are of significantly lower quality), the method of removing the skin from the carcass, and the dressing, preserving, and storing of the skin. During slaughter, the animal must be bled to the maximum. Blood remaining in the blood vessels of the skin lowers its quality.

A hide or skin just taken from the animal is called fresh. It cannot be kept in that condition for more than two hours. During this time the skin is dressed (removal of bits of flesh and fat, remains of cartilage, bone, tendons, horns, hooves, and tail heads) and cleaned, after which it is preserved, collected in production batches, and stored. A distinction is made between common defects, found in skins of various types, and specific defects, belonging only to certain types of hides and skins.

A distinction is made among skins, hides, and pigskin. Skins come from calves, foals, sheep, goats, and other small animals (young camels and seals). Hides are the skins of cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, deer, elk, walruses, and whales. Pigskin raw materials are the skins of domestic and wild swine. In addition to these most important types of leather raw materials, the skins of reptiles (crocodiles, lizards, and snakes) and fish (wolf-fish, cod, burbot, sheatfish, dog salmon, giant sturgeon, and shark) are also used.

Skins are used to make leather for shoe uppers, clothing, and haberdashery. Hides (the finer and lighter hides, as well as some of medium size) are used to make chrome-tanned leather for shoe uppers, Russia leather, harness and saddle leathers, welt leather and shoe bottoms, and industrial leather. Heavy pigskin is also used for this purpose.

Evaluation of the quality of hides and skins is done by organoleptic, microbiological, histological, and chemical methods. An important characteristic of hides and skins is their large share in the prime cost of the leather (about 65–70 percent); therefore, the basic means for lowering the prime cost of production in leather factories is associated with better use of the raw materials.


Khimiia i tekhnologiia kozhi i mekha, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As much as 25 per cent of the total annual yield of hides and skins is raked in around Eidul Azha, according to the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA).
Eid-ul-Azha is the prime time of collecting hides and skins for Bangladesh's leather industry that cater both domestic and export markets.
As rains continue to lash different parts of Pakistan, the hide collectors have inadequate storage capacity, technology and skills that can be used to save hides and skins from damage.
The speakers emphasized on collection of hides and skins well-in-time during Eid-ul-Adha days so that the respective institution/organization could make appropriate and timely arrangements for the hides preservation.
'The total value of hides and skins this year is estimated at Rs5.5 billion - more or less unchanged from 2017, depending on the volume of sacrificial animals, their weight and skin prices,' Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Central Chairman Amanullah Aftab told Dawn on Friday.
Industry experts said that tanneries have observed around 30 percent decline in hides and skins collection due to lower ratio of slaughtering of sacrificial animals.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of all leading NGOs, welfare organizations and Agha Saiddain Chairman Committee for the improvement of hides and skins.
Among other arrested men included Ehtesham Ahmad Ali and his wife Afshan, who would obtain the rates of the hides and skins from different sources for the Chinese.
Meanwhile, the District Administration has prohibited all the NGOs and religious organizations from collecting hides and skins of sacrificial animals without getting prior permission of the administration by 5 Zilhaj.
Imports of Tanned or Crust Hides and Skins of Bovine without Hair has fallen month on month basis by -3.21%.
KARACHI, June 13 -- Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) has asked the federal government to exempt hides and skins from value-added tax (VAT) net as being agriculture produce Saturday.