The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, central Asians, and Chinese all knew tanned leather and used it. But who first discovered how to tan it, when that happened, and where, must remain forever unanswered, since the invention of 수원오피 tanning came before the invention of written records. Primitive leatherworkers probably stumbled on different processes at different times and places, and quite possibly a number of widely separated workers discovered the same processes independently.

Until the invention of chrome tanning in the second half of the nineteenth century, little change had taken place in the three basic tanning methods for at least two thousand years. The most widely practiced method involved the use of vegetable tannins. Occidental tanners employed oak bark, gallnuts, and sumac leaves among their chief sources; other plants rich in tannins are found in every continent.