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Tanning a hide- 10 easy steps to a well cured pelt or hide.
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Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 05 6:32 pm    Post subject: tanning Reply with quote    

not a chemist or scientist so don't know myself

if i have to make a choice i will go for the stretching and oiling neither of which i was particularly happy with

i had no frame for stretching so ended up standing and pulling on it and working it round if you understand what i mean

mr nanny has made me a frame now and i will be lashing and stretching as you described

i have put it into the airing cupboard for a while to allowit to dry slowly again

i suppose if it gets damp i could restretch on the frame............

as to what i am going to make - no idea though i have found a couple of moccassin patterns

i think i am still a long way from making anything

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 23594
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 05 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

every animal has just enough brains to cure it's own hide . so downsize and dont use unesscessary chemicals. sorry to seem harsh but....

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20612
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 05 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thats very true, but brain tanning tends to be a smelly process, that many people in urban homes couldn't do, and also given that most of the animals that we can obtain with hides will have been shot in the head- the brains are rarely available. Alum tawing may use a small amount of a manufactured mineral salt, but its mostly done with common salt, so I believe it doesn't pose a huge risk if the left over solution is disposed of carefully.

Do you tan with brains? It would be interesting to compare notes on how it differs and whether you've found a way to keep the smell down, pus any tips you may have on extracting said brains in the first place! All the deer available to me are culled from park herds and are shot in the head to try to ensure a swift departure, we've never had the heads available, so I don't think I could use the brains from those ones. I do have a book on tanning buckskin using fats though, which we do intend trying

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 23594
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 05 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

brains can be smelly if the drying is slow ,plenty of ventilation ,or cold smoking speed the process which reduces odour ....a low odour method that works uses equal volumes of rough salt and tea leaves rubbed well into the inside of the skin , rolled , wrapped in newspaper (against insect attack) ,store in a cool place for two days ,unwrap and shake , wind dry as fast as possible ,work skin in hands to soften (this is hard work but leather dressing makes it easier)this method also works to make organic cat toys from rabbit feet or ears . whatever method you use .these hides are robust and long lasting.i feel the speed of drying is what is important , think biltong rather than corpse if you see what you i mean .. with bse and scrapie i think there may be sensible care taken with brain tanning but it works ace with smallish critters. it isnt much use to try it after a high velocity head shot though.if you need leather that is water resistant neats foot oil is really good (cheap too if you can get it from a tripe shop or renderers but costly in shoe and saddle shops).i dought these two,methods produce machine washable skins though

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20612
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 05 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Do you use the brains fresh? Several recipes I have seen recommend letting them putrify a little first which seems deeply distasteful to me - though I couldnt work out why they would need to be in that state

Bermite



Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Vermont, USA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 05 7:26 pm    Post subject: Mouse pelt Reply with quote    

Thanks for the info! Given the seasonal change, we've involuntarily begun to house lots of mice. Lots of dead mice for no reason seems saddening...so I thought a need to use them for a purpose. Just skinned my first mammal today. Glad to find this forum. I'll buy the alum tomorrow and have a go at it. I'm sure there will be more in the future so I'll check back on this one. Not sure what I'll do with my eventual collection but have thought about creating a mini blanket.

Has anyone heard if this is not safe? Rodentia are culturally taboo...perhaps this is baseless? The carcass seemed clean.

Last edited by Bermite on Sun Sep 25, 05 8:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20612
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 05 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dont see why not, but bear in mind meeces will be very teeny, very thin skins so may be a bit fiddly. Will be interesting to see how it comes out. Suggest maybe 1/3 alum to salt on such a small hide, will be quick and soimple in just a pint maybe of water. Can't believe I'm discussing how to tan a mouse hide!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 23594
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 05 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it might be that if you have soaked the skin to help the removal of hair to make leather , the brains will be a bit off by the time the fur is loose . i have only used fresh ,there may be a reason but i dont know of it .

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 05 7:22 am    Post subject: tanning a hide Reply with quote    

just read all this again...........

have done 3 now............still using the alum and salt.

the first one you saw earlier and is still going strong despite being used to cover the seat of the arm chair that the dogs lie on. the dogs have left it completely alone which is nice.

the second one i scraped almost too thin, stretched it on my frame and dried and oiled, it is almost transluscent in places, a bit like parchment on the inside, the hair is fine.

the thrid i tried a slightly different idea. having obtained my copy of deerskins into buckskins it mentions neutralising the salt and alum. i thought this might be a way of stopping the dampness during periods of high humidity when the excess salt is attracting the dampness in the air so i gave it a whirl. it meant soaking the hide in a weak vinegar solution. how long was a problem so i left it over night which was far too long. when i rinsed and tried to stretch the next day, the hide just started to tear so back in the pickle for a week or two and i have just gone for the previous method.

i wondered if the problem was more to do with the fact that in the book it says to use a wood ash solution for the soaking and i am using allum which is a different type of potash presumably (i failed chemistry at school)

i have another skin somewhere in the bottom of the freezer so will start to collect wood ash from the fire to do the skin with the proper bucking method as described in the book. there is also a dvd that has been produced which might help to show me how far to go with scraping the hair off, i think that might be one of the more difficult things to learn from a book. have yet to find out if i can play that dvd on our machines here as mr nanny says you have to buy a dvd for the correct zone (?)

apart from that i have also found a site in the states that does period clothing and offers for sale complete kits to make your own moccasins for $38. that's about......what.....25 here?

i thought it might be nice to have a go and then i would have the pattern if i ever get as far as that.......you never know someone till you walk a mile in their moccasins..............isn't that an old saying?

will try and stick a photo on of the second skin when i get round to it

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10731

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 05 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: tanning a hide Reply with quote    

Nanny wrote:
apart from that i have also found a site in the states that does period clothing and offers for sale complete kits to make your own moccasins for $38. that's about......what.....25 here?


Ooh, tell us more ... I am still trying not to notice the book on shoe making in my amazon basket...

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 05 8:09 am    Post subject: tanning a hide Reply with quote    

it's on my machine at home bugs so will TRY and remember to find it when i get home

seemed quite interesting and i rather fancied it myself...........it included the leather and the sinews for sewing, the lot to make what looked like a nice comfortable pair of moccasins........can't remember which area the pattern was from as different tribes had different styles according to their requirements..........

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 05 7:25 pm    Post subject: tanning a hide Reply with quote    

here you are bugs.the moccasin site. you can either buy the kit or go for the made up already when they send them ones

still can't make up my mind mainly because of the size difference.

i would have to do a bit of research first

www.smoke-fire.com/moccasins-1.asp

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10731

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 05 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks very much Nanny for diging it out when you got home! I've had a quick glance and will have a bit more of a nose later, as you say it needs a bit of thought. I like the idea of buying something semi-ready made so you can get the hang of some bits and also have a pattern/tools for the future.

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 05 4:02 pm    Post subject: tanning a hide Reply with quote    

have to say they look dead comfortable

i remember wearing some rally soft moccasins when i was a teenager - you can still buy them from an american site for minnetonka moccasins.

i was really upset when they finally gave up the ghost

i would like to think these ones could be just as comfy

you would never wear anything on your hooves again

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 23594
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 05 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks for the parchment hint ,im not sure about oiling it if i want to draw on it , well scraped both sides...thanks i just got a new game with skins ..i dont know .. i'm well daft ..i do art , i do skins, thanks for putting the two together . now i'm going to find out how parchment is done ..i'll report back..

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