I used a indian style liquid tan on my deer cape the instructions said nothing about pickling or any thing else well i ended up with a very hard finish. After reading on here i soaked it warm water and it soften up. So any help on what I should do now THANKS
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Just breaking into this business myself but it seems that the hide may be too thick. I have half a deer hide i used that method on and it is pretty stiff. Learned in school all about the SHAVING of a hide (the skin itself not the hair) to keep it thinner. That might help with flexibility, but also that method turns really stiff. The only skin we soft tanned was a coyote rug, ruffing up the tanned hide and applying softening oils. GOOD LUCK TO YA
The only true "Indian style" tan that I know of is braintanning. This method requires no thinning of the leather or fleshing beyond removal of meat and membranes until all that is left is the true leather, or "corium". Scraping is done with a "wahitke" and serves to remove the inner membranes and the epidermis, along with the hair. Others have used this method to tan hair on, but I have no experience with that. "Breaking" braintanned leather is as simple as stretching and pulling the solution-saturated hide until it dries. Usually takes a good six hours of dedication and time to accomplish, but the result is a much stronger piece of leather than what you can buy off a cow. Braintanned deer hide is actually very light colored, almost eggshell in color. The tan color commonly associated with buckskin comes from the water-repellant treatment given by holding the hide over a smudge/ pitch fire. Other than this, I'm not familar with an indian style liquid tan. Anyone else?
I work on an Indian reservation in Mississippi and they have a game called stickball it looks a lot like lacrosse just more violent. The balls that they use are made of buckskin and one of my coworkers is the official ball maker and does most of the other leatherwork for the tribe. We were talking the other day and he said that he uses a mixture of egg yolks and something else to tan all of his buckskins. I will talk to him Wednesday and find out exactly how he does it if you would like. Just email me and let me know.
thanks for the help