Wet Blue Leather

Leather Terminology / Leather Types


Definition of Wet Blue Leather

Wet blue leather refers to unfinished hides that have been dehaired and tanned with chromium salts and chromium sulfate.

In this phase, the hides are tanned but not yet dyed or dried, (they’re still in their moist state, and the tanning is done to preserve them).

It’s heavier than dried leather due to the water content in the hide. (The wet skin’s weight is three times heavier than that of dry skin).

To achieve the desired thickness once the split leather becomes dry, the tanner must therefore consider this difference in thickness when adjusting the tanning machine to split the leather.

It’s essential for the wet blue leather to remain wet, preferably at a moisture content of around 60%.

If left to dry, it will become stiff and stained which may negatively impact its subsequent production steps.

piles of wet blue leather stored together

After chrome-tanning, wet blue leather skins are re-tanned to further soften them and provide more mechanical resistance and elasticity.

During this stage, the skins are bleached so that light colors can be achieved when they’re dyed.

Example of Wet Blue Leather in a Sentence

"Wet blue leather hides attain their light blue tint from the chromium tanning agents."

Synonyms: chrome-tanned leather, in the blues (blues in the)

Related Terms for Wet Blue 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