Aldehyde Tanning

In this form of tanning, the hide is tanned using glutaraldehyde or oxazolidine compounds. Previously formaldehyde was also used in this process, however with advancements in research and medicine, formaldehyde fell out of favour when it came to be known as extremely toxic and even carcinogenic.

Sometimes, the aldehyde chemicals are combined with emulsified oils to produce exceptionally soft leathers which are notable for their ability to be washed. Chamois leather also falls into the category of aldehyde tanning and is a highly water absorbent leather. It is made by using oils (traditionally cod oil) that oxidise easily to produce the aldehydes that tan the leather.

Aldehyde tanned leather is the leather that most tanners refer to as ‘wet-white’ leather due to its pale cream or even white colour. It is mainly used in situations where ‘chrome-free’ leather is required, like in the manufacture of baby shoes and in some automobiles that prefer to have chrome-free seating.