Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

 Previous item  Up One Level Next item

Russia calf

Originally, a leather produced in Russia from calfskin, vegetable-tanned with tannin obtained from the bark of willow, poplar, or larch trees, curried from the flesh side with a mixture containing birch-bark extracts—which gives it the characteristic odor for which it was famous—and dyed red or reddish brown. It was often given a grain pattern of latticed lines. Genuine Russia calf was at one time highly valued as a bookbinding leather, particularly between 1780 and 1830, partly because its pleasing odor was supposed to repel insects. It was first introduced into Europe before 1700.

[Search all CoOL documents]

URL: http://