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Flat hides???

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Flat hides???

Post Number:#1  Unread postby GBov » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:14 am


My usual method for hide breaking (the dryer) gives me a slightly rounded hide, hand breaking from the start gives me a VERY rounded hide and yet, hides in the craft stores are flat.

Like, totally flat.

I know rabbits are round critters but flat is easier to work with so is there a way to get a nice flat hide every time?

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Re: Flat hides???

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Deer Heart » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:23 pm


I'm pretty sure that's caused by storage, like when mass created, they get stacked on top of each other on a flat surface. In my case if I'm just doing a couple, I sometimes stack them pressed between panels, like wood or cardboard, to keep them from holding moisture against each other. They are pretty flat after storage.

As an aside; I never thought to use a dryer to break pelts personally, I'd assume the heat would damage them?
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Re: Flat hides???

Post Number:#3  Unread postby GBov » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:27 pm


DH, I store my hides dried flat on shelves in the closet until I tan them so not sure if I could store them any flatter. ;)

For dryer breaking I take one dryer, lots of 2x4x4 inch pieces of wood and about 9 dried hides. I sponge my veg tan onto them until they are soggy but not dripping and let dry until just damp. Then I rub organic hand lotion well into them and let dry a bit more.

They are still damp and floppy when I toss them into the dryer to tumble on AIR DRY ONLY for about 6 hours.

Every time the air cycle times out I take the hides out and flatten them a bit as they tend to bunch up and crumple.

Not a problem, I just keep flattening them.

The fryer hides will come out totally finished and need no further breaking, Doe hides will need a bit more work and buck hides need quite a bit more but are worth it.

BUT all I have to do to finish the older hides is to dampen them with a bit more veg tan (Ultra strong brewed black tea) until they are totally flexible and rub with more hand lotion - not too much - and work by hand, wringing, twisting and gently pulling until totally dry. If they are drying stiff and I have time, I will dampen them a bit more and continue working but if I have run out of time, they just live half broke until I can get back to them.

The dryer breaking makes for easier hand finishing, at least for me. I have had a bit of tea staining on white hides but very little as I am careful when sponging it onto the hide side.

By using no chemicals on the fur side of my hides, when I am finished the fur is just like it was on the living rabbit, NOTHING has touched it other than gentle soap and water when first taken off the rabbit.

As I have said, doing it the above way makes for a flatter, but still rounded, hide but when I tan and break one totally by hand it is as rounded as when I was on the rabbit. Makes cutting squares a tad difficult.

However, I turned a fault into a feature when I turned the last one into a pillow. It worked a treat. :D

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