Leather was a much sought after material during Antiquity. Phoenicians used leather more specifically for confection of bags and travel water containers, as well as in maritime accessories. They used it so abundantly that they exhausted leather resources in their region and went on gathering the required stocks in oriental and occidental Africa. Notes left by the great Carthaginian navigator Hannon (5th century) describe his journey on the coasts of occidental Africa, where leather is mentioned as one of the raw materials he gathered from these far regions.

 

Decorated and engraved leather appeared in Lebanon during the Byzantine and Islamic eras. It was much appreciated by Byzantine emperors and Arab Caliphs. Nowadays it is mostly used in the confection of items such as clothes, belts, shoes, traveling bags, suitcases, sitting cushions, etc…

 

Lebanon’s main tanneries are located in the village of Machghara (75km from Beirut), while smaller leather workshops are concentrated in the capitals’ suburbs.

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