Shark skin...shagreen How do you tan it?

Submitted by J Quinn on 11/28/2003. ( )

I am trying to find out how to preserve a small sand shark skin. The end product is called shagreen. I have scraped it "clean" and have it in a bucket of water. I want to preserve it to mount it on wood. I would like to know about cleaning/preserving; glues; and water vs oil dyes. It is very fragile and may be disintegrating a little. Thank you in NC.

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This response submitted by Raven on 11/28/2003. ( )

Unless someone has a reason to not do so - I would suggest getting that skin out of the water and into a freezer. If it's just water with no preservatives etc (such as a pickle) you run the risk of macerating the skin! Macerating is the process I often use to clean bones. A bacterial culture developes in the water and eats tissue.

I'm not sure if salting would harm your skin in any way, but salt or freezing are two common methods to hold skins until ready for further use. Letting them sit in a bucket of water? yikes!

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