Sitka Tribal Tannery

Sitka Tribal Tannery Information

Skin Preparation

The quality of fur skins you receive back from the tannery depends greatly on their care while in your possession. Although or staff has been expertly trained they are not miracle workers. Skins that are not properly cared for will result in a poor quality finished product. The following skin preparation procedures will help ensure the quality of your finished skins and will save you money on your tanning bill. If you have any question please contact the tannery and we will be glad to assist you.

1)Skin the animal as close to the time of the kill as possible, being careful to keep the hide as clean as possible. Wash or remove any blood, sticks, dirt, and etc. From the fur and flesh side of the skin.

2)Scrape all flesh and fat from the skin before salting or freezing. Any fat or grease left on the skin could turn rancid and cause hair slippage. Should conditions not allow you to scrape the skin before salting then salt the hide and fold it flesh to flesh. This will help preserve the hide for a short time until it can be scraped. Do not allow the hide to dry with flesh or fat on it, as this will increase the chances of slippage.

3)Any skin that is to be used in taxidermy work should have the lips, nose cartilage, and ears split and turned. Also any skins that have the feet attached should have the bones removed down to the last joint. The pads on cats and bears should be split or cut down either side. Skins that do not have the feet attached and are to be used in the making of garments do not require splitting or turning (unless the face and ears are to be used.)

4)Rub salt into all areas of the flesh side of the skin (approx. 1 pound of salt per 1 pound of skin) making sure that the ears, nose, and feet are well salted.

5)Fold the salted skin (fur out) and place it on a slanted table or board in a cool place and allowed to drain/sweat for 24-48 hours.

6)After draining/sweating scrape off the wet salt and reapply a dry layer of salt. This time lay the skin flat (flesh side up) and allow it to dry. Seal and beaver should be stretched and dried.

7)After the skin has been dried stiff ship it flat (do not fold or roll) to prevent cracking the skin.

Sitka Tribal Tannery

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