Register

Questions about different types of tans

Discussion of fur breeds, tanning pelts, using the furs, marketing.
2 years of membership2 years of membership
Posts: 44
Joined: August 23, 2018
Thanks: 6
Thanked: 2 in 2 posts
BunnyBucks: 250.00

Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#1  Unread postby LunarFantom » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:22 am


Alright so, I got a book as a gift called "The Complete Book of Tanning Skins and Furs by James Churchill." I can see it was 1934, so quite out of date.

In it, it lists the tanning types that existed in that day: Acid tan (pickling) Aluminum tan (also a sort of dressing), Chrome tanning, and Vegetable tanning.

Acid and Aluminum are stated to not stand up well to repeated washings, which is kind of a problem when making clothes.

Chrome tanning seems fine, but this day in age there's some strict disposal laws around chrome, as well as some worries that it may be a carcinogen? (not something I want in my clothes).

The book really totes vegetable tanning, but when I step online, I see a lot of worry about: the possibility of messing it up, causing hair slippage, rot, lack of flexibility, lack of resistance to heat, a danger of shrinkage, and a potential to stain the fur.

However, I also see all these products like EZ tan, deer hunter's hide tanning solution, blue ridge's sure tan powder, dixietan, and reinhart tanning cream.

What are these things made of? Has anyone tried them? Are they resistant to water or do they wear off after enough washings? :( I knew this would happen if I read an outdated book lol...

TLDR: What are all these new fangled tanning solutions?

Site Supporter
6 years of membership6 years of membership6 years of membership6 years of membership6 years of membership6 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 2557
Joined: December 6, 2013
Location: Piney Flats ,Tn.
United States of America Male
Thanks: 1627
Thanked: 795 in 622 posts
BunnyBucks: 12,763.00

Re: Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:25 am


I wish you luck..
Maybe..
- start with deciding what you want to do with the hides... then search for the types of tanning solutions available nowadays , that will accomplish your objective.
The tanning recipes that stand up to repeated washings were usually [according to my "old time" understanding ] not "hair on" applications. When we wanted to make "buckskin" clothing, we removed the hair by soaking in "wood ash, and water" until the hair began to slip with gentle pressure, then we stripped off the hair, and rinsed the ash water out of the skins, -- we then used "smoke tan" methods, the clothing remained flexible after being wet and then drying [swimming the river] , and could survive many washings with mild [diluted] lye-soap -and not get stiff or begin to break down.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

4 years of membership4 years of membership4 years of membership4 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 568
Joined: July 12, 2016
Location: snohomish, wa
United States of America
Thanks: 4
Thanked: 172 in 147 posts
BunnyBucks: 2,980.00

Re: Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#3  Unread postby shazza » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:16 am


i don't know what's in synth tans, but i can tell you that you're most likely to get a more consistent product if you use one. veggie, egg, brain, etc. tanning requires the skin to be smoked in order to properly tan it, which can be difficult to do properly at home. alum is a tawn, not a tan, and can degrade over time if not cared for properly. that being said, depending on what you wanna do, they [img]will[/img] work, and plenty of people use them every day and their products last for years.

i personally use EZ-tan, which is a synth tan. it's nontoxic as far as i can tell; it doesn't give me rashes (i have sensitive skin and allergies to everything,) and if you're on city water you can pour it down the drain. the instructions are super easy to follow, and i've gotten consistently good tans every time provided i prepped the skin properly. it's waterproof in that the skin won't start to rot again if it gets wet, but you usually will need to rebreak it if the skin is completely soaked. a few raindrops aren't an issue at all, so i would say it's fine for making clothes (unless you're planning to go swimming for some reason ;P.) i think it's also suitable for hair-off buckskin too. i also know a lot of home tanners that use trubond and they say it gets similar results. the biggest difference is ez-tan is a soak tan, meaning the skins are completely submerged in a solution, and trubond is a brush-on tan.

i've not heard of or used blue ridge, dixietan, and reinhart, but i know that the orange bottle of tan (hunter and trapper's?) isn't that great of a product. the instructions are incomplete and unless you put in a lot of extra work you won't end up with anything nice.
Image
standard rex, himalayan, dutch, french lops, meat/fur mutts
blog: @frithyeerfarm | facebook: @frithyeer.rabbits | ig: @frithyeerfarm

2 years of membership2 years of membership
Posts: 44
Joined: August 23, 2018
Thanks: 6
Thanked: 2 in 2 posts
BunnyBucks: 250.00

Re: Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#4  Unread postby LunarFantom » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:47 pm


shazza wrote:i don't know what's in synth tans, but i can tell you that you're most likely to get a more consistent product if you use one. veggie, egg, brain, etc. tanning requires the skin to be smoked in order to properly tan it, which can be difficult to do properly at home. alum is a tawn, not a tan, and can degrade over time if not cared for properly. that being said, depending on what you wanna do, they [img]will[/img] work, and plenty of people use them every day and their products last for years.

i personally use EZ-tan, which is a synth tan. it's nontoxic as far as i can tell; it doesn't give me rashes (i have sensitive skin and allergies to everything,) and if you're on city water you can pour it down the drain. the instructions are super easy to follow, and i've gotten consistently good tans every time provided i prepped the skin properly. it's waterproof in that the skin won't start to rot again if it gets wet, but you usually will need to rebreak it if the skin is completely soaked. a few raindrops aren't an issue at all, so i would say it's fine for making clothes (unless you're planning to go swimming for some reason ;P.) i think it's also suitable for hair-off buckskin too. i also know a lot of home tanners that use trubond and they say it gets similar results. the biggest difference is ez-tan is a soak tan, meaning the skins are completely submerged in a solution, and trubond is a brush-on tan.

i've not heard of or used blue ridge, dixietan, and reinhart, but i know that the orange bottle of tan (hunter and trapper's?) isn't that great of a product. the instructions are incomplete and unless you put in a lot of extra work you won't end up with anything nice.


I mean, you don't wash mittens every day or anything but I feel like if I sell them, people are gonna wash em occasionally, which means complete water exposure. Not to mention in places like where I live the snow can make you and your clothes quite wet.

8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
Posts: 2523
Joined: May 25, 2012
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Thanks: 17
Thanked: 372 in 278 posts
BunnyBucks: 14,845.00

Re: Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#5  Unread postby GBov » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:30 pm


I use veg tan and get a lovely product but I have no plans to wash them so I have no idea how they would hold up.

Lap throws and pillows need no washing now my kids are long past the throwing up on everything stage. :lol:

User avatar
Posts: 8
Joined: August 16, 2020
United States of America Female
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 35.00

Re: Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#6  Unread postby AristocratsWI » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:26 pm


I realize this is a bit of an old thread, but this is a current topic/problem I am trying to overcome. I harvest excess bucks for meat and hide. I want to respect the animal, so I am doing my best to do everything properly and humanely. I think I have gotten good at humane dispatching and thorough meat harvesting.
I tried salting the hides first and then fleshing. That did not work. I tried soaking in tanning solution and then fleshing. Also did not work.
The only fleshing success I have had is when the hide is fleshed immediately and without salt. I use a chain mail glove which helps avoid cuts as well as improves grip.

I am currently struggling with trying to find the best tanning solution or surface application for rabbit hide that is to retain the fur. I'm looking for something that will function long-term for clothing. I'm also wondering what is the best approach to get a blood stain out of the fur.
My most recent attempt comprised of a salt compound which I would apply to the hides and then put them in a room with a dehumidifier. Take them away from the dehumidifier, they seem to pick up all the ambient humidity, get all wet and start degrading again.

Please let me know what you have found success with and provide links to products or other resources if possible. I'm currently operating on limited info from youtube (less than helpful) and Tan Your Hide book, which has only been moderately helpful.

8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
Posts: 2523
Joined: May 25, 2012
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Thanks: 17
Thanked: 372 in 278 posts
BunnyBucks: 14,845.00

Re: Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#7  Unread postby GBov » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:09 am


When hide is fresh from rabbit wash in cold water with a small amount of dish soap. This removes any blood.

I then flesh with scissors as the fat and connective tissue lifts away from the hide as I cut small strips off. It takes me over half an hour per hide but it is worth the time as I get a totally fleshed hide and no tears.

Then I roll it in a towel and walk up and down on it. This gets all the excess water out of the fur.

Then I - using LARGE LONG nails - nail it fur side down to a board. Then I lift the hide to the head of the nails so it hangs clear of the wood.

Prop it in front of a fan for a day. When it is totally dry it will last for years and years and years.

I Never Never NEVER use salt, it is nasty and drys the fur out totally.

When I am ready I boil up a very strong pot of black tea, 15 tea bags to 2 cups water. Let cool and that is my tanning agent.

Lay dried hide fur side down on a towel and sponge the cooled tanning tea onto the hide. It takes several goes for it to soak in totally. Take your time, there is no rush. After it starts loosening up stretch and pull it a bit between wiping it down with the tea.

You want it damp and loose, not soaking wet. Avoid wetting the fur if poss as it will stain white fur.

When it is nice and floppy start breaking it by pulling and twisting and pushing and thwacking it gently against a couch arm or however you like. It will take ages.

The nice thing is, done this way, if you get tired or you think it is done and it dries stiff, just dampen it again and start over. You can not over do the tea or the breaking and every time you start over, you get a better, softer hide.

Many people will use a conditioner (as do I) but the best I have found is a lightly sented ORGANIC hand cream. Any kind you like will work. Just be careful not to use too much and avoid getting it on the fur side. This is put on a few times as you break the hide, never very much at a time.

There are machanical hide breakers, a tumble dryer with wooden blocks bashing about works not too bad - no heat when in use, just air - and I have done several hides at once that way.

Right now I am looking at a hide lap blanket that has been in constant use for two years, in the bed or on laps or just snuggled with and the only thing that has changed is a couple of the stitches have broken. The fur is still as fluffy as when they came off the rabbits and the hides are still soft, supple and tough.

The hide side of every one is a different color because natual tanning is NOT uniform but that is fine by me.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! and practice on hides that have no value to you. Get the hang of it before using treasured hides. :D

__________ Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:09 am __________

Oh, forgot to say, wecome to the BEST RABBIT FORUM in the World!

Posts: 79
Joined: May 31, 2020
Location: Wisconsin
United States of America Male
Thanks: 89
Thanked: 20 in 16 posts
BunnyBucks: 630.00

Re: Questions about different types of tans

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Green2Rabbits » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:09 pm


Update: I somehow answered something different than you asked I think. Some of the commercial tans are veggie tans but are super concentrated vs using leafs so its quicker but some say not as nice end result.
I agree I don't want anything on my fur I can't eat. Chrome has lots of bad stuff that needs to be disposed of special and if you wear if well eventually you might absorb a bit of it. Although it makes a fast, water safe hide it doesn't hold up well after many many years.

Alum pickle I use but know it won't last over 20-30 years and only that long if I do it right.

Bark/leaf tan and brain tan will last really long and safe for you and environment. I dont do bark tan so I won't comment others know more. Brain tan can get wet but shouldn't be the norm although if smoked it will break no problem or may not need to be. However a wet brain tanned hide will mold and rot but then again so will most others if given time.
Sorry the rest of this is probably useless info now I reread your question.---
GBov is right. Y[youtube][/youtube]ou don't need salt if temperature is right and if you are close by where your going to process them.

I use salt since I hunt in winter so time to my place is not great and the temps are not favorable to dry the hide.

Either way flesh it first or the salt and moisture won't come out well. Trapped moisture leads to rotting which leads to fur falling out.

I use a PVC pipe on a 2x4 to make a flashing beam. You don't need it though.

I skin the animal, flesh the animal, soak it in a solution of 1c salt to 1 gallon water which removes blood and helps kill bacteria. Then I salt it and change salt after the first day with fresh layer. Then wash it in dawn soap mixed with water, rinse, dry, add tanning solution of your choice.

I'm not associated with these but learned most of what I know from them so I highly recommend you look on youtube at "Xavier de la Foret" and "Tribe Of Benjamin" channel and videos. They explain it well. There are others but these guys have accurate info and IMHO the perfect recipe. Anyone can tan a hide but if it's not the best way it will break down after a few years.

Sorry my first reply was way more in depth but when I looked up the youtubers and came back to this tab it reloaded the page and I didn't feel like retypeing everything.
YouTube has a lot of good things you can watch step by step.
Once your hide is dry after removing the membrane it will be shelf stable for a long time and you can continue whenever just keep mice away and humidity away. Its actually just rawhide at that point.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests