The Tannery Section of the Dimitsana Museum

The tannery at the open-air museum fo water power in Dimitsana.

INTRODUCTION

In my previous post in this series about my week in Greece (May 12th to 19th) I wrote about the Open-air Museum of Water Power at Dimitsana, and stated that I was going give the tannery a whole post to itself, and here it is.

THE TANNERY

As well as containing everything used in pre-industrial leather making this section features a short video detailing the process in its entirety. To get from a batch of skins to leather from which stuff could be made would take a couple of months. 

tubstubs IItubs IIItubs VTanneriesSofteningSkinsLeather history818splittingsplitting bowlcornerFleshingWashingwooden boards826827Tanning stages 5,6 and 7protoleathertreatment vesselsstirring vesselsstirrer and nearly ready leatherNearly ready leatherfleshing toolsdeliming info boardTanning stages info boards3rd and 4th tanning stages info boardFinal panels and video screenTannery

This is the centrepiece of a fascinating museum. The tannery is the second-furthest part of the museum from the entrance, with the gunpowder mill directly below it. 

Dimitsana 2: The Tannery

The Tannery is absolutely remarkable. There is a 15 minute video which describes the process of getting from skins to usable leather. The process was painstakingly slow, occupying something in the region of a month per batch of skins. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit this site make sure you watch the video right through – it is good.

Once again, pictures will tell this story better than words…

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These skins are ready for the tanning process to start.
These skins are ready for the tanning process to start.

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Here we are part way through the process.
Here we are part way through the process.

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This leather is ready for use.
This leather is ready for use.

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