Most chamois leather does not come from the chamois, a type of mountain antelope. True chamois skin was used in the 18th century by the French glove-making industry. Workers found that, by tanning the skin in cod oil from Biarritz, they produced the ideal qualities of water absorption for the soft white gloves. The word 'chamois' (pronounced 'shammy') then came to be used for the process of tanning in cod oil. Nowadays most chamois leather comes from sheep.