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Thread: reindeer hide

  1. #1
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    Default reindeer hide

    Hi

    A friend from Scandinavia has kindly brought me over a reindeer hide but unfortunately it has not been treated yet. I want to use it indoors as a rug but at the moment a. it's kind of stinky! and b. it is hard and crinkly.

    Any advice on how I can treat it to make it all soft and non-stinky like the ones I see in the shops! I live in the UK and they are real funny about furs and skins here so can't get a lot of help!

    Thanks

    Jen

  2. #2
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    doesnt sound good from the way it described, was it salted? if not its in the rawist form, if you dont have a outlet for getting it tanned over there and want to do it youreself, its gana be a long process and if done cheaply wont turn out like the ones you see in shops done by a pro. first you will need to find out if it was treated with anything, if it was done right it would have been salted and fleshed, if not it will need to be dampened with water but not water logged as that will make the hair slip and fall out, its gana be hard to keep that from happening. again if youre doing it youreself the easy way is to buy a tanning solution from somewhere like tanndys leather online. after the hide is plyable if it hasnt been fleshed youll have to scrape all the membrain tissue and flesh from the hide, this process is made easier by useing a fleshing board, a ironing board shaped wood slab with a surfboard like rounded end and edges or use the stretching method, pin it down useing nails,pegs or cable to keep it tight to scrape. use a sharp knife and take all the tissue off. If its greasy, use a white gasoline to separate the fatty materials from the hide, dont soak it but apply it generously, and do it in a well aired out area, this should remove most the grease/fatty stuff, it will have to saoak in for a few days, and it would normaly get saoked in it for a day, but im afaid that may make the hair slip, go either way. it will have to be rinsed well!, after seaveral quick soak baths and the gas nearly all washed off it needs to be salted very well until almost dry, then apply the tandys tan it solution and let it dry for a few days or better yet a week to cure. then the ceaning step it can get wet now its tanned, use regular shampoo or another cleaning agent that wont be too chemicaly potent and wash it like you would a dog in the tub, then stretch it out to dry again. after it is completely dry the prcess of softening it comes, i use to have a old dryer with the heating element out for this process, toss it in and spin it with a bunch of old shoes and blocks of would till its softened, otherwise use a drill with a big steal brush head, this will work wonders on starting it to break the hide lose, but dont over do it, then by hand rub the hide, and place it leather side down on the cleaned flesh board running it back and forth accross it or pinch,rub and squeeze it one little section at a time till it good enouph for you. Back in the days before chemicals squaws use to break it down with their teeth to soften it, and they used the brains of the animal to tan it then cure it by smokeing the hide, its called brian tanned leather which is a almost lost trade now, ive larned from the best on how to do it, but any form of tanning is a process even the newer conventional methods. i hope that you can salage it, sounds possible, but if not you can alway get raw hide from it, and make a drum! lol or save youreself weeks of work and send it in good luck!

  3. #3

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    I'd suggest you find a taxidermy forum, they will be able to give you a lot of help. I've dressed (tanned) different kinds of deer hides before and they are relatively easy hides to successfully home tan. There are a lot of easy but specific steps. But contrary to the first reply (with all due respect) when you rehydrate the dried skin, you do "water log" it, sometimes for several days. But you soak it in a rehydration solution of water, salt, bactericide, and if desired a wetting agent that helps the water penetrate the skin. These chemicals can be purchased from a taxidermy supply house. As stated in the first reply if you just soak it in water the hair will slip by the time the hide is fully relaxed.

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    no disrespect taken wags see i even learned something new, explains why i had a hair slip problem at that stage before.

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    Here's a link to a major Taxidermy forum:

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php

    There is a topic area entitled "Tanning" that has tons of info you may find useful. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Give these folks a call. I bet they can point you in the right direction.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Thanks, lots of helpful info..will try the taxidermists first...

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    Member Spookum's Avatar
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    search the internet for alum tanning at home. Id recommend trying to get a small hide to work with first... maybe somone you know has a farm and you can get a chunk of hide from a cow or a rabbit skin... good luck! http://www.state.tn.us/twra/pdfs/tanninghides.pdf you may also want to internet search for linseed oil... it helps to ease the process of breaking the hide so it is flexable

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