Aluminum vs. chromium for garments

Submitted by Pete on 3/4/1999. ( lebaronp@pilot.msu.edu )

I have always heard that for garments and making soft leather nothing beats a chrome-tan, but I know Lutan-F and possibly other alumimuns can also yeild the soft, stretchy leather desired for wearables. Given the less toxic nature of aluminum-tans, it seems this would be a perferred way to go, but I have heard that alum's can be leached out of the skin by water rendering it stiff. Which tan is perferred?
As for chrome-tans, do Cr-nitrates and Cr-chlorides work as well as the more popular Cr-sulfates (like oxochrome and tannium)? Thanks.

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Chrome's the Best!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 3/10/1999. ( rittel@ici.net )

What you heard was right! Chrome will not leach out when exposed to moisture or prespiration. Aluminums will. It also has "Memory" which Aluminum tans do not have. Memory meaning it cant be destorted, otherwise your leather clothes would develope "knee and elbow sags". Did you ever notice that ALL Aluminum tanned garments or hats are lined? And that Aluminum tans are NEVER used for shoes and boots? Besides the memory problem, Its to prevent the wearer from sweating and leaching out the tan, and maybe getting a rash from it! As far as which Cr is best - they all are used, and provide an extremely durable tan. Obviously the oxochrome and tannium are the most popular and easiest to use, but the others have special applications too, altho not as commonly used. Have fun tanning Pete!


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