Chrome Tanning

Leather Terminology / Leather Tanning


Definition of Chrome Tanning

Chrome tanning uses a chemical called Chromium(III) sulfate to process the leather. It was introduced in 1858 as an alternative to the time-consuming and expensive vegetable tanning process.

Today, chrome tanning is the most preferred tanning method, with almost 90% of leather made from this process.

It’s affordable, less labor intensive, and can be automated, minimizing the need for manual labor. Usually, chrome tanning small and thin skins take around 2–3 hours, while thicker hides obtained from cows can take up to 24 hours.

Chrome-tanned leather is also referred to as wet blue leather because of the bluish color the leather obtains right after the tanning process.

wet blue leather formed after chrome tanning

Example of Chrome Tanning in a Sentence

"The new technology will reduce the amount of chrome used in chrome tanning by 25%, significantly lowering chromium emissions. "

Synonyms: mineral tanning

Related Terms for Chrome Tanning

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