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Tanning fur

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:03 pm
by Powder monkey
I have a raw fur skin I need tanning, it's white and I'd like to keep it white.
I'm having difficulty finding someone to do it. Help

Re: Tanning fur

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:38 pm
by Brother Ranulf
Tanning on the one hand and "keeping it white" on the other are sadly incompatible - unless you know some historic Native Americans who can do brain tanning in the old way. Apparently the Crows of the Northern Plains made the softest, whitest buckskin and buffalo hides - but nobody today can replicate the time, effort and skill involved in doing that.

Tanning in English terms historically meant using oak galls or bark (or bark from certain other trees) which results in a tan colour; the other process, known as TAWING, was a method involving alum, salt, egg yolk, flour and other ingredients which leaves the leather white, but stiff as a board. Softening it after this process would be a time-consuming and laborious piece of work.

Re: Tanning fur

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:48 am
by 40/- freeholder
With respect to the good Brother, plenty of smallholders during the "Good Life" revival of the'70's/80's tawed their own skins using the egg & alum method. They can be made very soft and supple, just needs plenty of elbow grease. I still use goat skins I tawed back in the day. If you are not looking for an authentic method, then it certainly used to be possible to purchase the necessary chemicals for the modern immersion curing but the skin still needs working to make it supple. Alternatively, a taxidermist would be able to do a professional job, at a price, if it's a small skin. It's still possible to send sheepskins to small commercial firms for curing.
While Google should find relevant information, let me know if you need the egg & alum recipe.