Leather

Research has been undertaken on the type and quality of leather used in early pianos with the intention of replicating the oil and vegetable-tanned leather used for hammer covering and in keyboard actions.  Some vegetable-tanned leather, that is suitable for some applications, has been produced in small quantities and is being supplied on request.  It is not currently available to purchase through the online shop but please email graham for further information.

 

A hammer-head from James Ball grand piano of 1800 with the original under leather shown with the new veg-tanned hair sheep leather

A hammer-head from James Ball grand piano of 1800 with the original under leather shown with the new veg-tanned hair sheep leather. The original outer oil-tanned leather has been removed.

There is an article about Hammer Covering and Leather that gives more information about the leather used in early English pianos and the research being done.   At present, research is being undertaken in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technologies, Northampton University, UK in determining leather specifications and two tanneries are involved in producing specialist leather skins.