Yelk of egg is largely used in the preparation of kid leather for gloves in France and on the continent of Europe, in order to give it the requisite softness and elasticity. The treatment of the skins with yelk of egg, which is called by the French glovemakers nourrkure, is daily becoming more costly, in consequence of the large consumption and increased price of the material used. It has recently been proposed to substitute for the yelk of egg the brains of certain animals, which in chemical nature closely resemble the yelk of egg. For this purpose the brain is mixed with hot water, passed through a sieve, and then made into dough with flour and alum, and used in the same manner as yelk of egg. The inventor of this substitute states that the quality of inferior skins may be so much improved by this treatment as to be fit for making gloves. The Indians of our forests employ this very agent (brains of animals) for preparing their skins for mocassins, c. They employ the brains of deer and buffalo, mixed with a weak lye of wood ashes, and after this they smoke the skins; the pyroligneous acid of the wood in the smoke accomplishes the same object as the alum used by the French skin ' dressers. Indian prepared skins stand the k action of water in a superior manner to (French kid. Furs dressed in the same man- ner resist the attacks of insects.
This article was originally published with the title "Method of Preparing Kid Leather" in Scientific American 13, 39, 305 (June 1858)