Dictionary.net

Definitions of tanning

  1. making leather from rawhide
  2. of Tan
  3. The art or process of converting skins into leather. See Tan, v. t., 1.
  4. The process of converting hides into leather; a browning of the skin by exposure to the sun or weather.
  5. The practice, operation, and art of converting the raw hides and skins of animals into leather by effecting a chemical combination between the gelatine of which they principally consist and the astringent vegetable principle called tannic acid or tannin. The object of the tanning process is to produce such a chemical change in skins as may render them unalterable by those agents which tend to decompose them in their natural state, and in connection with the subsequent operations of currying or dressing to bring them into a state of pliability and impermeability to water which may adapt them for the many useful purposes to which leather is applied. The larger and heavier skins subjected to the tanning process, as those of buffaloes, bulls, oxen, and cows, are technically called hides; while those of smaller animals, as calves, sheep, and goats, are called skins. After being cleared of the hair, wool, and fleshy parts, by the aid of lime, scraping, and other means, the skins are usually steeped in an infusion of ground oak bark, which supplies the astringent or tanning principle, and thus converts them into leather. Different tanners, however, vary much in the mode of conducting the process of tanning, and also the skins intended for different kinds of leather require to be treated differently. Various improvements have been made in the process of tanning, by which time and labor are much reduced; but it is found that the slow process followed by the old tanners produces leather far superior to that produced by quick processes.
  6. The art of converting raw hides into leather by the use of tan.
  7. The process of turning skins or hides into leather.

Usage examples for tanning

  1. The Wilder Tanning Company was building a hotel for 50 single men and individual houses of five, six, seven and eight rooms for families. – Negro Migration during the War by Emmett J. Scott
  2. Sixty neophytes are engaged in weaving and allied tasks; the carpenter of the presidio is engaged at a dollar a day to teach the neophytes his trade; and a corporal is teaching them tanning at $ 150 a year. – The Old Franciscan Missions Of California by George Wharton James
  3. I thought as all young Americans do that it was rather hard to get such a tanning in Michigan, and I had begun to think myself quite a somebody. – The Bark Covered House or, Back in the Woods Again by William Nowlin
  4. Wind and sun were tanning his skin to the hue of health. – Kenny by Leona Dalrymple
  5. But she found nothing but a treatise on tanning and an old almanac until, happening to look behind the glass on the chest of drawers in the inner room, she discovered a small volume which she took to be the New Testament. – Cruel As The Grave by Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth
  6. It was full of important data relative to tanning processes. – The Monk of Hambleton by Armstrong Livingston
  7. Most of the men were away at work, some in Monopoly or Economy, whither they went in the early morning in their tin Lizzies to a little store or a country bank, or a dusty law office; some in the fields of the fertile valley; and others off behind the thick willow fringe where lurked the home industries of tanning and canning and knitting, with a plush mill higher up the slope behind a group of alders and beeches, its ugly stone chimneys picturesque against the mountain, but doing its best to spoil the little stream at its feet with all colors of the rainbow, at intervals dyeing its bright waters. – The City of Fire by Grace Livingston Hill
  8. For tanning water- skins the Somal here always use, when they can procure it, a rugged bark with a smooth epidermis of a reddish tinge, a pleasant aromatic odour, and a strong astringent flavour. – First Footsteps in East Africa or, an Exploration of Harar by Richard F. Burton
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