Synthetic Tanning

Leather Terminology / Leather Tanning


Definition of Synthetic Tanning

Synthetic tanning is not used independently but as a part of a combination tanning process, with either vegetable tanning or chrome tanning.

The method uses tanning agents like phenols, formaldehyde, and acrylates, all produced industrially.

A key downside of synthetic tanning is its sensitivity to moisture and heat. If synthetic-tanned leather gets rained on, the moisture will migrate through the finish into the perforation holes, eventually damaging it.

Likewise, if the synthetic tanned leather product receives direct heat from the sun, the matrix water, which is chemically bound in leather, will start to boil and cause the leather to harden and shrink.

Example of Synthetic Tanning in a Sentence

"During my childhood, this area was the site of multiple synthetic tanning factories that emptied their waste into the river."

Synonyms: chrome-free tanning

Related Terms for Synthetic 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