Tanning Vocabulary Terms

BARK SPUD- a chisel-like tool used for removing bark from a trunk

FLESHING KINFE- a tool used to scrape one side of a skin in order to remove pieces of fat or tendons

HEMLOCK- a type of tree which has bark containing a lot of tannins, an ingredient used to make leather

HIDE- the skin of an animal; usually used when speaking of larger animals such as cows and horses. When referring to smaller animals such as goats, deer, and calves it is called a skin

TAN/TANNING- to turn an animal hide or skin into leather. Usually done by soaking it in a bath with oak or hemlock bark

TANBARK- bark used in tanning. Hemlock and oak barks are the most commonly used barks for tanning.

TANNER- a person who tans hides and skins

VAT- a large tub. In tanning, the tub is filled with hides, ground up bark, and water. Over time, the hide absorbs the tannins in the bark


Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society