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Open Access Publications from the University of California


  • Author(s): Veldmeijer, André J.;
  • et al.

Leather was used throughout Egypt’s history, although its importance varied. It had many applications, ranging from the functional (footwear and wrist-protectors, for example) to the decorative (such as chariot leather). Although leather items were manufactured using simple technology, leatherworking reached a high level of craftsmanship in the New Kingdom. Among the most important leather-decoration techniques employed in Pharaonic Egypt, and one especially favored for chariot leather, was the use of strips of leather of various colors sewn together in partial overlap. In post-Pharaonic times there was a distinct increase in the variety of leather-decoration techniques. Vegetable tanning was most likely introduced by the Romans; the Egyptians employed other methods of making skin durable, such as oil curing.

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