Local source for vegetable tan?
I'm looking for a local source of vegetable tanning material. I have a moose hide I want to tan. Back home I'd use oak bark, up here, that's not really an option. Has anyone used Birch bark with success? I read that it works "OK".
I'm pretty much just looking to have a huge fur, but I want it to be durable in case I want to use it for crafts, (back quiver, arm guards, moccasins, ect). I would use Alum if I just wanted to hang it on the wall, but I don't, so that's not an option. I also want the option to "mold" or "bone" holsters and sheaths for which chrome tanning is not suitable.
I've successfully tanned deer hides hair on and they came out really nice. If the moose hide starts to slip hair, it won't kill me, I'll just go buckskin... I'm wondering if I should just enlist a few buddies back home to ship me 3 garbage bags of Oak bark, they would, but I don't want to put them through that (or pay for the shipping). Thanks for any help/advise.
The only place I've seen any reliable source for any bark tan is Van Dykes, Cabelas owns them. They only have one kind, quebracho. It makes pretty good saddle leather but like any other bark tan it is slow and has to be done in stages. It is very astringent so if you use it to strong in the first load you'll end up with a shriveled up mess. There is a site called braintan.com that has some good tutorials on bark tans they may give you some ideas.