do i rehydrate with plain water and then tan with liquitan
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Your question is so vague it hard to answer, here's how.
First of is the cape green and salted or dried hard. If not you can rehydrate it in plain water with some ultra soft from Rittel's.
Then you need to pickle the hide for best results. Some folks skip the rehydration process in plain water and add it right to the pickle. Either way works. The pickle should be kept at 1-2 PH level. Anything over three you can have major problems.
Pickle the hide for 3 days, drain for 30 min shave the hide and place it back in th epickle for another 24 hrs.
Next day drain for 30 min then mix up 5 gallons of water to one tablespoon of sodium bicarbinate soak for 15-20 min. This netutlizes the skin.
After this is done drain for another 30 min and apply Liqua-tan. The rest of the directions come on the bottle.
I know it says you can tan without a pickle but if you want the quality of the product you need to pickle it.