Currying, the art of dressing cow-hides, calves-skins, etc. The principal object in this process, is to soften and supple cow and calf skins, which are usually employed in making upper-leathers and quarters of shoes, the covers of saddles, coaches, etc. As soon as these skins are brought from the tanner's yard, the currier first soaks .them for some time in common water, when he takes them out, stretches them on a smooth wooden horse, scrapes oft* with a paring-knife all the superfluous flesh, and immerses them again. They are next put on a wet hurdle, and trampled with the heels, till they become soft and pliant, when they are steeped in train-oil, and afterwards spread out on large tables, and their ends tightly secured. There, by means of a pummel (an instrument consisting of a thick piece of wood, the lower side of which is full of furrows, or teeth, crossing each other), the currier folds, squares, and moves the skins in various directions, to render them supple. This operation is properly called currying ; and, with a few immaterial exceptions, is that now generally followed.
After the skins are thus dressed, they are coloured, black, white, red, green, etc. which process is performed either on the flesh or grain side ; that on the former, by skinners, and that on the grain or hair side, by curriers : these, when a skin is to be made white, rub it with chalk, or white-lead, and afterwards with pumice-stone. But, when a black colour is wanted, the skin must be first oiled and dried, then passed over a puff, dipped in water impregnated with iron, when it is immersed in another water prepared with soot, vinegar, and gum-arabic. Thus it gradually acquires a deep dye, and the operations are repeated till it becomes of a shining black. The grain and wrinkles, which contribute to the pliancy ofcaves and cows leather, are made by the reiterated folds given to the skin in every direction, and by the great care taken to scrape oft' every excrescence and hard place on the grain, or co-lour-side. - See Comfrey and TANING.
Currying, a manual operation performed on horses, with an in strument called a curry-comb ; it may also be applied to cows, and indeed to all black cattle, that are much confined to the stall or yard, especially during the winter. Independently of the circumstance, that so useful a practice essentially contributes to the health and kind-Unas of animals, it also in a re-markable degree promotes their thriving and becoming fat. - See Bullocks, vol. i. p. 390.