Newbie with a question
Well I'm new to tanning. I got a free sheep hide from a friend but he left it to dry in the sun (fur side up) without fleshing it. Is it possible for me to use this hide? I also want to keep the fur on, can I do this (without sending it to a taxidermist) without having the fur slip? And if so, any suggestions how I should do it? Trying to do this natural so no chemicals. Any suggestions would be great!
Brain tanning is the "natural" method I see reddened to the most. There is also a method using leaves, which should be easy to get right now. Tough to say if the method your partner used to sun dry will result in hair slipping. Worst case you'll end up with a unique buckskin though. Try a butcher shop or farmer for brains if your going to try the brain tan. There is actually a web site dedicated to brain tanning, do a google search.
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Yes, brain tanning is the method I will be using and I have a butcher holding those for me until I get the hide set up. Any suggestions though as to how I should rehydrate the hide without letting the fur slip and if I'll be able to properly flesh it?
Well i'm no expert but i'll give you some thoughts since you aren't getting any other responses.
If the "sun dry" method didn't dry it out fast enough, bacterial will have already caused the hair to become loose or slip. If your not seen that then the hide is probably ok. When you re-hydrate you need to do it in something that won't cause bacteria growth, their are commercial products, don't know whats in them. I didn't have any trouble rehydrating my caribou hide in the "pickle" that came as part of my tanning kit. Its some sort of proprietary acid and 1 lb. of salt per gallon of water. I suspect you could get away with rehydrating the hide in a heavy salt based water with some Lysol in it to kill bacteria.
This is all based on hours of reading I've done in preparation for my own home tanning, again i'm not expert...