Week fifty-one: SHAGREEN (probability 5856), by David Sutton

SHAGREEN is a granular leather made from horses' or donkeys' skin; the word is also used for the skin of a shark, ray, etc, that is covered with small nodules. The word comes ultimately form the Turkish sagri, horse's rump. The vocabulary of leather is a rich one. Here are some other terms of types of leather:

CABRETTAa soft leather made from the skins of a hairy S. American sheep
CAPESKINa type of soft leather made from the skins of long-haired sheep or lambs
CHEVEREL, CHEVERILa soft, flexible kidskin leather
CHEVRETTEa thin kind of goatskin
CORDOVAN, CORDWAINgoatskin leather, originally from Cordova in Spain
DONGOLAa type of leather from Dongola, a small town on the Nile
MAROQUINgoat leather, morocco leather
MOROCCOa fine goatskin leather tanned with sumac
NAPA, NAPPAa soft leather made (originally at Napa in California) by a special tawing process, from sheepskin or goatskin
NUBUCKa type of leather with a velvety finish
RUSSIAa type of leather originally from Russia
SAFFIANleather tanned with sumac and dyed in bright colours
SLINKSKINleather made from the skin of a slink, or prematurely born calf
YUFTanother name for russia leather

Finally, for the really ambitious player, we have CHECKLATON (also spelt SHECKLATON or SCHECKLATON), which is a Spenserian word apparently denoting a kind of gilded leather used for making embroidered jacks, a jack in this sense being a defensive leather coat and a JACKMAN, a name of some renown in Scrabble circles, being a soldier who wore such a coat.


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