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New to processing pelts

Discussion of fur breeds, tanning pelts, using the furs, marketing.
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New to processing pelts

Post Number:#1  Unread postby swaggymama » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:13 pm


I've been reading up a lot on processing pelts, and I think I want to stick with a more natural way of doing things, but I'm wondering if the steps are absolute, or if there is wiggle room.

The way I understand the process is:

-clean and cool down
-stretch / dry completely
-tan (will likely use black tea or egg white)
-dry
-tan again
-lotion
-dry

I've read about drying on racks.. and read about drying in dryers (air dry for hours with wooden blocks) but I'm confused in that can you do all drying except the first one in the dryer?

Do you HAVE to smoke the hides?

How will you know if it's dry enough?

Seriously - I've been googling / reading for like 3 hours today and I don't have a clear answer...

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Re: New to processing pelts

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:50 pm


natural "tanning" is difficult to get right - good luck! i am a tanner but i used synth tans as they are less work and more reliable, so i'm not that familiar with natural tanning. what i do know is that you HAVE to smoke the hides or it is not a true tan and will not last forever. i'm not sure about drying - it seems everyone has their own method and they stick with what works for them. this is another reason why i don't care much for natural tanning...synth tans have very clear instructions and everyone does it the same way so you can ask for help :p

the drying on racks vs dryers is because the first dry is to ensure the hair stays in well (i use salt, rather than drying,) and the second dry (in the dryer) is to dry the tanning chemicals and soften the pelt. that's what the blocks are for. you can also just soften by hand.

you'll know it's dry enough when you can stretch the skin and it has some resistance and will turn a nice white. this is a good video that shows what i mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDd8t3TJe60 i like to take some sandpaper after they're completely stretched and dry and sand down the leather. it makes it super soft.

good luck!
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Re: New to processing pelts

Post Number:#3  Unread postby swaggymama » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:52 am


Thank you Shazza - I've been viewing videos of different methods etc for days... and I think I know what I want to try out, along with some 'shortcuts' such as using a blowdryer to quick dry the fur

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