"Influence of metal cations on leather degradation" by Ohlídalová et al (2017)

Ohlídalová, M.; Kučerová, I.; Brezová, V.; Cílová, Z.; Michalcová, A., “Influence of metal cations on leather degradation”, Journal of Cultural Heritage 24 (2017) pp.86–92.
doi:/10.1016/j.culher.2016.10.013 (ScienceDirect, restricted access)

In the presence of ions of transition metals, mainly iron and copper, there occurs a heavy damage in historical leathers: loss of firmness, fragility and even powdering. Ions of transition metals are contained in pigments used for leather dying or they come from chemicals used for leather marbling or from direct contact of leather with metal clips etc. After accelerated ageing of samples the influence of transition metal cations was evaluated by determination of changes in mechanical properties, pH values and shrinkage temperatures. Structural changes in leather were examined by means of scanning electron microscope, SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and spectroscopy of electron paramagnetic resonance. In leather samples a semiquinone radical has been detected, which initiates their oxidation. Transition metal cations catalyse this oxidation process thus increasing the damage extent when compared to leathers not containing these ions.