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Our first dried hide...help!

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Our first dried hide...help!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby swaggymama » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:10 pm


My daughters and I fleshed a hide last night.

I THINK we did it right - there doesn't seem to be any "meat & fat" left... but there are still little strips of what looks like membrane, but it's not.coming.off. without pretty much taking off the last layer of "skin" and exposing the pores...?

Anyway, we got into doing something else...and kind of half forgot about it - it's tacked to a board, and kind of stiff...not rock solid, but stiff... we planned to use the egg tanning method on it.

Now that's it's so stiff, can we just apply the egg mix on it, leave it overnight, then stretch it?

Do we have to rinse it after we put on the egg mixture? I've been searching online all morning, but can't find any information that's clear...

As far as stretching it goes, I get that it must be slightly damp and not totally stiff... found a good video that shows consistency...

does anyone have a good step-by-step for egg tanning a hide?

So far, it's been cleaned with some mild detergent... salted... fleshed... washed again... and dried.

I'm ok with doing some trial and error, but would like to avoid the error as much as possible! :)

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Re: Our first dried hide...help!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby averydeadbird » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:11 pm


I haven't used egg tanning, but I can tell you that I have successfully rehydrated multiple skins that have dried stiff as a board (back when I had no idea what I was doing). You can dunk the hide in water, or spritz it with water and then cover with a damp towel and let it sit for a while for the moisture to absorb.

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Re: Our first dried hide...help!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:48 pm


I've never used egg tanning and dont have a good video for you, so I'm sorry if I can't help that way, but maybe I can help by showing you this way.
Here's my way:
Make a mixture of non iodised salt, aluminium sulfate, a bit of detergent and water. Soak 24h. Then using a sparpened spoon or skinning tool scrape off the membrane and leftover meat. The membrane might be thin but it needs to go, in general it has a pinkish hue compared to the skin since it's what supplies blood to it. Generously apply salt everywhere, let rest a couple days. Wash thorougly then set aside to dry 1 day, apply oil, caster is recomended but I've tested other oils like Primrose oil wich I happened to have on hand and it worked too. You can also just skip the oil altogether but the pelt will stiffen and become a bit like paper over time without it. Thats fine if you intend to have it as just a display piece or something. And finally, work the skin every day to keep it soft until fully dried. Since you dont want to be rough with rabbit skin I've found it's better to consistently work the skin over time then trying to work it perfect from the start.

For proper details without my tweaks, here are the videos I followed when I started tanning my rabbit skins. I make plushies with mine, so I keep em whole, wich is more akin to the multi part video then the single video. So I'm linking you the video where I skin one of my rabbits if you'd like to take a look. One thing about the multipart video, rabbit skin is much more fragile then wild game, so unlike what he shows, be gentle when stretching/working the skin and getting the water out otherwise you'll tear your skin.

First video of the multi part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLrBomwO9S0
Single video, you can tell how gentle he is when stretching his rabbit pelts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC6vGMGiPbc
Me skinning a rabbit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC0XHegefK4&index=16&list=UUnLg4C3szTM30aPEZpf5XCA

Also seriously dont take my word for it, but if the egg mixture works like the oil, you're not suposed to wash it out. It's meant to be absorbed by the skin to replace the fatty oil that we took out with the salt. It's what allows to hide to remain flexible easier while minimising decay.
Hope my meddling helps even if it's not exacly what you asked for x.x

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Re: Our first dried hide...help!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby GBov » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:40 pm


All of my hides are stored dry. I flesh them, nail them to a board and prop it in front of a fan until they are dried stiff.

This way they have stored for years. :D

NO SALT!!! I hate salt and hides, frozen or dried for me.

For egg tanning, you can simply dampen your hide with the egg. Just sponge it on, wait a bit and repeat until your hide is flexible again.

Then gently stretch and pull and twist until it dries totally and is soft and flexible.

Remember that you are producing a softened RAWHIDE, not a tanned hide. It will be a beautiful product but if it gets wet, it will stiffen up just like it was before you did all the work.

You will not need to wash the egg off as it is totally soaked into the hide by the time you are done.

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