Alum Leather

Leather Types


Definition of Alum leather

Alum leather is leather that’s transformed through the tawing treatment method using aluminum salts, mainly sodium or potassium aluminum sulfate.

To create alum leather, the hides are soaked in a concentration of alum and water, then they’re dried and cured, resulting in a soft and pliable leather, white in color

The tawing treatment helps to enhance the leather’s resistance to bacteria, mold, and mildew, making the leather ideal for use in areas where moisture is a concern.

However, alum leather needs extra preservation to prevent it from rotting. Technically, it’s not tanned because no tannic acid is used during its tawing treatment, as in other tanning methods.

For this reason, alum leather can easily revert to rawhide if soaked in water till the alum salts are dissolved.

To prevent alum leather from reverting or rotting in water, manufacturers add waxes and oils to the leather that make it water-resistant.

Example of Alum Leather in a Sentence

"Overexposure to the sun removes oil and wax, leaving alum leather prone to cracking."

Synonyms: tawed leather, alum-tanned leather

Related Terms for Alum Leather

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Read more