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Description: Infestation - Inferior quality hides are liable to develop holes due to a skin defect, and care should be taken not to attribute this holing to the use of hooks or other fortuitous cause. The skins concerned are usually those with a rough surface, and careful examination of the holes will make it comparatively easy to determine whether this has arisen through use of hooks or other fortuity, or whether it is a defect in the skin itself. When the hole is due to a defect, the surface immediately surrounding the hole is not usually as smooth as the remainder of the hide or skin. The skin may also suffer from blemishes which may eventually result in further holes. These holes and blemishes are usually accepted in the trade as being defects of the hide or skin itself. Treatment - Where damage is not severe enough to warrant goods being classed as useless, damaged skins should be put into work immediately; discarded skins may be sold for glue manufacture. Unless water damaged hides are dealt with promptly, damage will be considerably aggravated as the result of bales being left unopened or stored, decay in the skins advancing rapidly if air has no access to them. Wetting - Hides and skins of all descriptions can be seriously damaged if they are wetted by fresh or salt water. The effects are more rapid on dry hides and skins than on those which have been salted, but the latter will become severely damaged if the wetting has been sufficient to remove much of the salt from the pelts. Any wetting allows bacteria to thrive to the detriment of the pelt, and the decomposition of the pelt will be accentuated if the wetting is accompanied by heating, which is particularly liable to occur in press-packed bales. Salted hides and skins may absorb a certain amount of moisture from the humidity of the atmosphere, but this does not constitute damage, and normally does not affect the skins. Dry hides and skins may absorb moisture to a limited extent if the atmosphere is very humid; a slight mold will form on the surface of the skin. This may not be harmful, but much will depend on the degree of moistening and the length of time the skins have been in this condition. Wetting prior to shipment or from sweat during the voyage may produce similar effects. If skins have been packed damp, a mildewed condition may exist, but this will clearly be of an internal character inside bales, as distinct from the effects produced by external wetting. Dry and dry salted hides and skins are not liable to sweat from inherent causes.
Index: 379
Commodity Name: HIDES AND SKINS

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