Emergency Hide Storage

Submitted by Wags on 8/5/00. ( )

Form too big, even with severe alterations. Need to store hide 2 or 3 days to wait on new form to arrive. Was using dry preservative. Question: Should I rinse cape out and re-salt or should I store cape as is in freezer with dry preservative still on? Measurements were correct, but form was way too muscular.

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I am no expert on D.P.

This response submitted by Todd B on 8/5/00. ( trigger@indy.net )

I always tan my capes so I am not positive on this. But I would not
suggest rinsing and resalting them. As you mentioned refreezing them.
That is what I would do if I were in this predicament. I know all of the controversy
here about D.P. vs tanning. But I may get slammed for this but I would suggest
tanning in the future.

Todd B

Storing hide

This response submitted by George Roof on 8/5/00. ( georoof@aol.com )

Don't know why salt is even in this equation. DP mostly borax( for bug proofing along with some alum. It is chiefly a dehydrating agent that just allows the hide to dry without rotting. Most users discourage the introduction of salt, period. Simply roll your hide up, hair side out, put in in a paper grocery bag, and refreeze it. In the 2 or 3 days, the available moisture in the skin will freeze and prevent the DP from working. When you're ready, take it out, let thaw, and then stretch it as much as you can. I put both arms up the neck and push against both hands on tanned hides, so DP should be no different.

If you want to hear what a dyed-in-the-wool DP guy has to say, call Touchstone for a catalog and read Mr. Sam's comments about using salt. Their DP is some of the best I've ever used and not nearly as harsh as some on the market.


This response submitted by Wags on 8/5/00. ( )

I was talking about the salt that I used to dry the hide before I had time to mount it.I always rehydrate then use d.p.This time I rehydrated and the Mannakin was just to darned big.So I wanted to know if I should rinse out dp before freezing.Thanks all for input.

Dave Says

This response submitted by Dave Taylor on 8/5/00. ( ddt1@bayou.com )

I AM a self-proclaimed expert on DP, and I'm kinda surprised that George is vying for the title! (lol)
George's information is correct, except don't put the cape in a paper bag--it will dehydrate and freezer burn like anything else placed in a freezer.Instead place it in a plastic bag and seal with a twist tie. you can keep is for a day or a year if properly wrapped. just thaw and proceed normally.

In the future, don't salt at all, by going through that step, you are defeating some of the big advantages of the preservative, which are simplicity and speed.
The use of salt will require time, then re-hydration. that step really necessitates use of a bacteriacide to prevent possible slippage before you even get to the dry preservative. All those steps are unnecessary.

This is all you need to do:
1. wash your raw skin--don't soak, just wash with detergent and lysol.
2. towel dry and flesh. you can coat with preservative to make fleshing easier.
3. repeat the above steps--(wash, towel dry, coat with preservative) then Tumble in sawdust.
4. fix ears, do any detail fleshing, and Mount!

it's really that simple. the more steps you add, and the more time you take, the greater your chance of having problems like slippage.

if you are still concerned with slippage, just thaw your cape in alcohol, or soak in alcohol for about 5 minutes after thawing. that should fix any slippage problems.

Hope that helps,


This response submitted by George Roof on 8/6/00. ( georoof@aol.com )

Realizing this is totally unsolicited advice, I apologize if it upsets you, but why are you salting the hide at all if you intend to use DP? You're putting your hides through some incredible stress in combining those two and with the quick tans on the market, you're over half way there if you salt dry your hides and then rehydrate.

DP is a fast, safe, and inexpensive method of preserving hides on mounts. It was designed to be placed on raw hides to stop bug infestations, constrict hair follicles, and dehydrate the hide. That's why some DP mounts that aren't properly glued and treated often show cracks around eyelids with ears drummed and noses and lips separating. They constantly expand and contract due to chemical reaction with the climate. If you doubt it's harshness by itself, don't wear rubber gloves and use it often for a quick ticket for psoriasis.

Salt is an equally harsh chemical, but it's sole function is to collapse cells within the skin by removing all the moisture. It has no other redeeming qualities. In tanning, this is all it needs to do. The hide is then placed into the pickle where those collapsed cells now act as a sponge and suck the pickle into themselves to replace the water that was removed. The pickling solution swells the walls of the cell and you get softer, puffier skin that can be shaved off prior to entering the tanning solutions. Some of the quick tans skip the pickle and depend on drawing the tanning agent directly into the cells.

The fewer steps you subject a hide to, the better in the long run. In the years that I used DP, is caped the hides, rolled them, bagged them and froze them until I was ready to mount. Then I thawed them, shaved them and treated them with DP. I don't ever recall having a single hide slip. Maybe I was just lucky, but my luck never held in any other areas of life.

hide storage

This response submitted by wags on 8/31/00. ( )

Thanks to all who offered advice,I ended up rinsing the d.p.out and freezing in plastic bag before I had gotten all the responses from all of you .I thawed out and re-coated with dp and everything is fine.I think this website is really a good deal,sonner or later we can probably all learn something from it.thanksalot wags

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