Apr 28 2010

Tanning Skins

Published by at 6:45 pm under Expeditions and Experiences

Spring is my favourite time to tan skins. Weather is usually pretty stable and it is warm enough, yet not so warm as to dry out the skin too quickly.

Buckskin production described very simply is: Taking a soaked hide (already fleshed), scraping the hairs and grain off. Then a solution of brains, eggs or similar fatty substances are being worked into it. After that you wring it and start manipulating it as it dries. When dry, it can be smoked or just used as is.

I recommend Matt Richards’ “Deerskins into Buckskins” for more details on braintanning.

The following picture is of a dehaired reindeer hide being wrung before softening.


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One response so far

One Response to “Tanning Skins”

  1. carl emil zeidleron 18 Feb 2013 at 11:11 pm


    did you know that eggs are not as suitable for tanning as brains becauce of a low jodine-value! it means that it has less C=C in the fat. read it in a tanning book from sweden:
    “Skinn: garvning och beredning med traditionella metoder”. i’ve tanned quite a lot of hides at fosen folkehøgskole. feel free to ask me anything at carlemilzeidler@gmail.com


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