Playing with the pelts

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KelleyBee

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So, I have air dried 11 pelts. No, these are not quality pelts, except one from a 9 month rabbit I recently culled (her pelt is not pictured). Has anyone air dried and proceeded with tanning from here? I've read conflicting info, which is why I'm asking. Some say air dry then tanning is preferred, others say air drying is not preferred. What I like about the air drying is the flexibility of keeping it as rawhide or proceeding to tanning if it is a good pelt. I look forward to hearing from the experienced!

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Preitler

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Well, I never dried pelts, they go straight into the pickle after a quick wash, get fleshed in the next 2 or 3 days, then into the tanning bucket.

I wouldn't know how to store them really dry enough here, and, well, if I don't do the work right away I'll end up with piles of pelts that could be tanned at some undetermined point in the future...., I once made the mistake of freezing fresh pelts, ended up throwing all away a year later. So I either discard them, or tan a few nice ones.
I have now a pile of tanned pelts, waiting to be used for something at some undetermined point in the future.....
 

KelleyBee

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Well, I never dried pelts, they go straight into the pickle after a quick wash, get fleshed in the next 2 or 3 days, then into the tanning bucket.

I wouldn't know how to store them really dry enough here, and, well, if I don't do the work right away I'll end up with piles of pelts that could be tanned at some undetermined point in the future...., I once made the mistake of freezing fresh pelts, ended up throwing all away a year later. So I either discard them, or tan a few nice ones.
I have now a pile of tanned pelts, waiting to be used for something at some undetermined point in the future.....
I have some in the freezer and I have worried about that method of temporary storage. Why, what happened that caused you to decide to trash the frozen pelts? Online, lots of people are freezing them to hold before tanning. I decided to dry them because I prefer not to use the freezer space for them any longer.
 

KelleyBee

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I know that generally salting hides to dry them out and simply rehydrating them before a pickle or other true tanning method is acceptable, and I dont see why air drying them and rehydrating them would be any different, but i have no experience air drying pelts myself.
Is pickles no and tanning the same thing?
 

Bunnies4me

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I'm halfway through this process. I have dried with salt in the past and I have one dried with borax, but I havent got to next stage of setting them back to rawhide to tan, so I don't know how they'll turn out. I made contact with a professional tanner and asked her how the best way was to store them, she told me they get freezer burn and go 'old' in the freezer after about 3-6 months, which meant they weren't always as premium as they initially would have been. She hasn't tanned my borax dried skin, but I will ask her to when I am ready to have a few samples to compare. I tried to tan a few with an old fashioned method of using egg yolk, washing them with shampoo was part of the process, that was successful, but I don't know how long they will last or how hardy they will be.
 

KelleyBee

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I'm halfway through this process. I have dried with salt in the past and I have one dried with borax, but I havent got to next stage of setting them back to rawhide to tan, so I don't know how they'll turn out. I made contact with a professional tanner and asked her how the best way was to store them, she told me they get freezer burn and go 'old' in the freezer after about 3-6 months, which meant they weren't always as premium as they initially would have been. She hasn't tanned my borax dried skin, but I will ask her to when I am ready to have a few samples to compare. I tried to tan a few with an old fashioned method of using egg yolk, washing them with shampoo was part of the process, that was successful, but I don't know how long they will last or how hardy they will be.
Thank you for your story. I sho probably get the ones I have out of the freezer, thaw and onto the drying stretchers. It sounds like this is a better way for storage before processing them further.
 

Shea

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Thank you for your story. I sho probably get the ones I have out of the freezer, thaw and onto the drying stretchers. It sounds like this is a better way for storage before processing them further.
If stored vaccum sealed in the freezer they will last a while. But you can run into the priblem of the fur insulating skin so bits of flesh don't freeze fast enough and can rot. I have air dried a few, but my critters kept getting into them. Switched to salting and havent had a chance to go further then that yet.
Tan and pickle or used interchangebly these days, but are 2 very different methods.
 
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Is pickles no and tanning the same thing?
Pickling is a part of the tanning process. I pickle in a regular salt bath for a while even though I do brain/egg/smoke tanning because it helps sort of fluff the skins fibers and makes detail fleshing easier. Some people pickle in an alum salt bath which is part of a different tanning process that i have no experience with.
 

Burelka

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For those of you pickling your hides would you mind sharing your method/recipe from start to finish. I tried the salt drying and egg yolk method once on a hide and it went bad. I suspect inadequate ventilation was my issue.
 

george8211

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I'm here but a little late lol. I'm looking to get some Silver Fox to raise and breed. Are you doing any Silver Fox pelts? As may experiment with trying pelts. Are some breeds better than others to make better pelts?
 
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Burelka

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I'm here but a little late lol. I looking to get some Silver Fox to raise and breed. Are you doing any Silver Fox pelts? As may experiment with trying pelts. Are some breeds better than others to make better pelts?
I would imagine the different breeds would provide different fur textures. Raising all the same breed would ensure uniformity in all pelts if you are wanting to have all the same colour pelts for a larger project. Personally I have mutts, so all my pelts are different colours and patterns but I like this as I am a fan of randoms colours and textures used in one project.
 
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