• Technology
  • Egyptian Leather

  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Viking Leather

    Criteria Egyptian Leather Viking leather and Furs
    ImagesEgyptian leather Viking leather and furs
    Use - Leather was not of major importance in Egypt's hot climate
    - It was used in rarely worn footwear, and smaller items like garments and containers
    - Leather rolls were at times used instead of papyrus as writing material
    - Animal skin was used in making some musical instruments such as tambourines.
    - In order to survive the harsh winters, Vikings processed the fur and skin of the animals they hunted into cloaks and boots
    - Since Vikings did not have pockets, they used leather pouches on their belts
    - As leather obtained from wild animals was very strong and compact, it was widely used for creating body armor, helmets, saddles, hunting accessories and even weapons, such as slings and bows
    - Water-resistant leather was used for creating roofs, tent coverings or recipients and containers such as bottles or buckets. The Vikings even covered their boats in leather.
    Manufacture process - Early leather in Egypt was primitive in technology, since it was not water resistant
    - True Leather was only produced in the Ptolemaic Period
    - Skin was depilated with urine and salt which also functioned as a preservative
    - vegetable tanning was applied to prevent decay and to impart flexibility and toughness. Chamois leather was treated with fat, while an extract from Acacia pods was used for tanning ordinary leather
    - Application of mineral earth to the leather - preservation of skin in Egypt's hot climate
    - The skins were thoroughly washed and soaked in water for the removal of blood and the cleaning of the outer surface
    - It was then immersed in a potent mixture of lime and water to loosen the hair which could then be scraped away
    - The process of fleshing then took place; fat from the underside of the skin was scraped away with a knife
    - A second washing process was undertaken to remove any traces of lime
    - The actual tanning process involved the laying of the skins in a pit containing vegetable liquor.
    - The skins were removed from the tanning pit, coated in oil and hung to dry
    Raw materials - Sheep and goats were the most popular skin used in Egypt
    - Leather was obtained from the skin of Jutland sheep, cattle, pigs and wisents
    - Fur was obtained from reindeers, caribou, polar bears, foxes and wolves
    Trade - Leather was not an important merchandise, and no trade activity was recorded
    - Fur trading with the rest of Europe was a very important booming activity in the Middle Ages