Morocco-Leather, the skins of goats tanned and dyed in a peculiar manner by the Turks , but which processes were originally invented in the kingdom of Morocco.

The skins are prepared in parcels, consisting of 36, divided into six bundles, which are folded in the middle, lengthwise, and thrown into a pit full of lime, whence they are taken out, rinsed in pure water, drained, and suspended in the shade to dry, till the hair becomes loose. After carefully taking off the latter, the skins are returned to the lime-pit, for two or three weeks, when they are again rinsed, and passed repeatedly through a decoction prepared of 30lbs. of dog's-dung, and an equal quantity of water. As soon as the skins are thus gradually impregnated, they are thrown into a large vessel for the space of twelve hours, alter which they are cleaned with pure water, and immersed for seven or eight days in a watery decoction made of bran.

The skins are now wrung, and thoroughly washed in clear water, to render them soft and pliable : next, they are cured, by spreading a thick layer of common sea-.salt, in the proportion of about half a pound to each skin, and piling them up, till they are rendered sufficiently supple. The last process which the skins undergo previously to being dyed, is immersion in a liquor prepared by boiling 2-1 ounces of dried figs, for each skin, in a copper (we believe, treacle would answer the same purpose), in which they remain till they are about to be suspended in the air for drying: lastly, they are dipped in a solution of alum, that disposes them for the immediate reception of the dye.

The chief colours communicated to Morocco-leather, are red and yellow, for the preparation of which, the Turks have long been celebrated.

The red colour is prepared by mixing together various articles, in the following proportions, which are required for a parcel of 36 skins;


Cochineal -


Round suchet (crocus indicus)


Gutta gamba




White alum, pulverized



Bat k of the pomegranate-tree


Citron juice



Common water


The alum is gradually added to the other articles, which are thrown into a copper, where they should be boiled for about two hours, till one-tenth part of the water be consumed. In this mixture the skins are repeatedly immersed; and, when sufficiently imbued with the colour, they are dried, and again steeped in a vessel, containing three pounds of hot water (for every two skins) together with one pound of sumach, and a similar quantity of gall-nuts, pulverized and tiffed. - As soon as the skins are completely impregnated with this liquor, they are slightly rubbed over with a sponge dipped in pure water, and suspended, without being folded, on a wooden frame; for about three quarters of an hour, to drain. They are now carried to a river, or running water, where they are repeatedly rinsed, then pressed with weights, in order to extract the moisture, and hung up in a warm room to dry. - The last process which red Morocco-leather undergoes, is that of polishing: this is effected by means of various wooden instruments, that contribute at the same time to remove such of the particles of gall and sumach as may adhere to the skins. The yellow colour is prepared in a manner nearly similar to that just described; the common Avignon or yellow berries (Graine d' Avignon) being substituted for cochineal, and employed in similar proportions.

The only variation between the two processes of dyeing red and yellow, is, that the former is tinged with the colouring matter, before it is worked, or polished with the wooden instruments; whereas this operation is performed on the latter, previously to its being dyed. -But these two are not the only colours dyed by the Turks, who likewise manufacture black, green, and blue leather; which last three, however, are not only destitute of lustre, but are extremely perishable. The Turks, indeed, are as inferior to Europeans in preparing the more common species, as they excel them in manufacturing and dyeing the red and yellow moroccos.