Kinda long explanation followed by questions . . .
I'm going to Africa in June and wanted to have a pair of boots made from the back hide of my kudu. Loveless Custom Boot Company referred me to Kwiktan Tannery in Johannesburg, South Africa, to have that backhide tanned into boot leather.
When I talked with the man from Kwiktan, he suggested I have all the hides sent to him and he would tan them with Lutan-F for taxidermy work (except the one tanned for boot leather) and ship them to me in the states . Theoretically this sounds great because it would 1) reduce the dipping and packing charges, 2) reduce the shipping charges to me because the tanned hides take up less room and are lighter, and 3) costs me less for tanning since the Rand is now 12-1 against the US dollar.
Has anyone else ever had this done? Have you ever used the Kwiktan Tannery in South Africa? Is their tanning any good?
Any other questions i need to ask?
Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu
The customs fees etc. will make the price the same as if you had everything done in USA, ; Also from my experience there is no way a African Co. is not going to bill you in US $. Plus if you get a bad job or poor service, how much will that cost you dealing with a S. Afr. firm? Personally I would play it safe and not let them touch it.
I have done it both ways and found that the tanning in Africa was good and ended up being cheaper than having them "dip and pack" and then sending the salted caped to a tanner in the states. Its faster also...no waiting for the tanning here in the states.
I just wish I could remember what taxidermist that tanned every thing. Sorry, I dont have the info handy.
I have heard problems with the African tanning qaulity, but have not experienced any.
The one problem that I have had is the skinners cut the ear canal away, and butchering most of the ears while turnning. I will be going on Safari this August, with three clients, and have talked to the PH about the problem. I will be taking two pairs of ear splitters and having a "class" with the skinners. The PH welcommed it.
Good luck on your Safari...and the tanning.
The money you save on the tanning of your skins in Africa will be taken up by the extra time spent shaving these skins when you need to work with them. The last skins I received with an African tan on them were extremely stiff and thick, like wet cardboard. They had no stretch and were very difficult to work with. I would estimate that my work time was double or triple that of standard tans from the U.S.