Skin, in commerce, denotes the hide, or pelt, which is stripped, off the bodies of animals, in order to be prepared by the tanner, skinner, parchment-maker, or other artisan, and converted into leather, etc. - See HidE.
In February, 1799, a patent was granted to Mr. Joseph Watt, for his improvements in the art of tawing, dressing, and converting, both gn and English lamb, goat, and other skins, into leather, etc. without Using either bran, salt, or lime. - It deserves to be remarked that, according to the patentee's statement, skins are dressed, by this new method, in one-fifth part of the time required by the former processes. Farther, a considerable saving is made, not only in workmen's wages, but also in the articles of bran, lime, salt, and coal; consequently a less capital is necessary. Lastly, the quality of the skins is thus improved ; their colours become brighter; and the gloves manufactured of them, are more durable than such as have been made of skins dressed in the common way.
Another patent we shall notice, is that granted in April, 1799, to Mr. James Knowles ; for his invention of a method of dressing of preparing skins, etc. - The principle of this contrivance consists in omitting the old processes of liming and drenching, by which the qua-, lity of the leather is not only injured, but the various operations are retarded. - The patentee, therefore, directs the skins to be simply immersed in water, after the hair is removed ; when they are to un-dergo the operation of fleshing.
Next, the pelt is again plunged into the water ; and, after the neary studding, or striking, it is ready to be tanned, tawed, or ed. - See also Tanning.