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Silicon is a natural substance, constituting 27.7% of the earth's crust. It can be converted into an array of silicon based polymers called silicones. Many of these silicone polymers are of interest to the leather industry, in both wet end chemistry and finishing. It is the feel, lubricating effects, low surface tension, hydrophobicity and durability of silicones that make them of particular benefit to the leather industry. This article describes the composition, generic properties and versatility of silicones. It also discusses the benefits of silicones in leather applications such as garments, shoes and automotive.

  • The Benefits of Silicones in Leather Finishing by Dr Liz Mallen of Dow Corning Ltd and Mr Laurent Godefroid of Dow Corning SA. published in the February/March 2004 issue of World Leather Magazine, pages 31-34.
    Download file (PDF size = 129 KB)

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