Volume 5 - Spring 1998


Product & Company News

Embossed Pigskins

For those of you who are regular large users of embossed goatskin, have you ever thought about the possibilities of using embossed pigskin as an alternative. This leather tends to have a very bad name in the bookbinding field, however we believe that this is most unfair. While it is true to say that historically most pigskins were very firm, with the use of the right mixture of vegetable tans, a strong leather with good wearing characteristics and a nice round feel can be obtained.

Pigskin is widely used on the continent in Austria, Germany, Scandinavia and Switzerland as an alternative to goatskin in bookbinding, since the raw material was readily available.

The main advantage of pigskin is its economy of scale. The skins run in the region of 1.0-1.2 sq.m per skin (10-12.5 sq.ft.) with a main cutting area of around 75x100cms. This regular square shape makes it a very economical leather for cutting on our clicker press. On top of this, the price per square metre is around 10% less than for goatskin.

Embossed pigskin is not stocked as a finished leather. There are however readily available supplies of this raw material, and skins can be produced to order in approximately 3-4 weeks from receipt of order. If you wish to see a larger sample, please do not hesitate to contact our Edinburgh warehouse.

The End for Basils?

As you may already know, there has been a major shortage of sheepskins over the last two years. Recently the situation has deteriorated again, and this has resulted in us being unable to purchase the better grades that we normally use. The shortage of sheepskins has now been ongoing for several years and has recently resulted in the closure of Britain's largest clothing tannery. With this situation showing no signs of easing we have regrettably decided to withdraw sheepskins (not sheep skivers) from our range of products.

Over the last year, we have been substituting smooth and glazed goatskins for their basil equivalent. This will continue, and over the next few months, the stocks of basil will be replaced with goatskins. Problems may occur in the replacement of Aniline and Fair Basils, although we will of course do our best to help out in these cases. If you have any queries about how this will affect your bindery, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Skin Deep - Volume 5 - Spring 1998

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