Encyclopedia Article


Buckskin is soft leather made from the skin of a deer, or other kind of horned animal, which has been treated to make it pliable. After the skin has been removed from the carcass of the deer, the subcutaneous material is scrapped off, and then the skin is tanned in a solution that contains tannin, a bitter substance present in bark, acorns, and other plant materials. The tanning process is a preservation process and is what converts animal hide into long-lasting leather. Modern buckskin is tanned, dyed, and then softened with chemicals, but traditionally, natural oils from the deer’s body are used to make the skin supple and moldable after the tanning process.

Some cultures use buckskin for clothing; however, buckskin is used by Navajos only for ceremonial purposes.

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"Pile of leather, March 21, 2011" by Tomascastelazo is licensed under CC BY-SA.

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