Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/743

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Popular Science Monthly


���The skin is laid over a rounded board and thor- oughly buffed with a buffer which slips over the hand like a loose mitten

albumen and water or skim- med milk, which makes them very supple. They are then glazed and grained.

Experiments which have been made with it indicate that shark leather may be used for practically every- thing now made of cattle leather. Shark hides have one great advantage over cow hides in that the "splits" are amazingly strong. A "split" is simply a peeling of the hide — something like the veneer cut from a slab of wood.

All the leather that you see is not made of the whole skin. Hides are split, and each split is finished to resemble, as closely

��At various stages of the tanning process the skins must be dried. Here are two on drying frames

���On the grain side of the skin the buffing is done with an electric buffing machine

��A thoroughly cured shark skin being glazed by elec- tricity. The skin is held taut and the glazing ma- chine is passed over it

as possible, the skin of the hide. If all leather were made of the skin side there would not be nearly enough to go around. Present de- mands for leather are so heavy that even with the use of splits leather is grow- ing alarmingly scarce.

No matter how carefully a cow-hide split is treated it will not wear as well as the first, or skin layer. If the split is creased it immediately roughens, and the surface cracks. This is due to the grain of the skin.

Shark hide is not grained like cow hide. In the shark hide the grain runs in such a way as to form what might be termed a web, which prevents the splits from cracking. A split of shark hide may be creased, folded, flattened and pressed down, yet it will retain all the smoothness of the outer layer.

Shark leather costs less per foot than cow leather. Therefore articles made from it will be cheaper than those manufactured from cow hide. In these days of high-priced leather the family's shoes are no longer a small item of expense. Let worried fathers take hope for the future. Next year they may be able to purchase shoes for themselves, theirwivesand their children at about three dollars a pair for the grown- ups, and somewhat less for the children, all made from shark hide.

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