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This article is about an older version of DF.
This article refers to "hide" in terms of the skin of a creature, for the article on hiding items and buildings, see Hide Items or Buildings.
Skin texture.
Fish scales, another type of skin.
Insect chitin, yet another type of skin.

Skin is a tissue layer common to most creatures. Different types of creatures have different types of skin.

  • Most mundane creatures have raw hide, which displays in-game as skin. This is the only type that can be tanned into leather.
  • Arthropod creatures have untannable chitin. Much tougher than normal skin, chitin serves as the skeleton of most creatures that have it, meaning damage immediately affects structural function.
  • Reptilian creatures and fish generally have untannable scales. Somewhat tougher than ordinary skin, scales slightly reduce damage from weaker sources.

Skins (both fresh and rotten) are stored in a refuse stockpile. Each butchering job produces a single skin, and tanning a hide only a single piece of leather, regardless of the creature (or body part) sizeBug:3732.

Skin uses[edit]

Raw skin can be processed at a tanner's shop by a dwarf with the tanning labor enabled in order to produce leather, or a dwarf with the tanner labor enabled can bring a skin and a bucket of milk of lime to a tanner's shop to produce a sheet of parchment. Skins are automatically tanned if the "Auto tan" order is enabled. If skins are not tanned automatically, you can use your manager to automatically queue "Tan a Hide" jobs, or manually queue jobs from a tanner's shop. Scales and chitin cannot be tanned (aside from shenanigans being done).


Main article: Leather

Leather is used to make low-grade armor and clothing. Leather is also used to make bags, quivers, backpacks, waterskins, clothing, shields, armor, crafts and decorations. The process of making and using leather is part of the meat industry, rather than the clothing industry.

Modding scales to be usable in leatherworking[edit]

If you want to make items out of scale or chitin, add these tokens to SCALE_TEMPLATE or CHITIN_TEMPLATE in material_template_default.txt in the game raws:


This will make butchering yield several sheets of the creature's scale that are usable in leatherworking, instead of regular unusable scales.

See also[edit]

"Skin" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: salul
Elven: tipi
Goblin: duspbu
Human: lubbe
More: GemsMetalsStones
BloodBoneBrainCartilageCheeseChitinEggFatFeatherHair (WoolYarn) • HoofHornIchorLeatherMilkNailNervous tissueParchmentPearlScaleShellSilkSkinSpitSweatTallowTearsToothWax
Fiber (PaperSlurry) • FlowerFruitLeafOil • Plant powders (DyeFlour) • Seed (Press cake) • Wood
AmberAshCoralFilthFuelGlassGrimeIceLyeMagmaMudPearlashPotashSaltUnknown substanceVomitWater
See also: Material science