Best oil to soften up slightly crispy snake/lizard skins?

Submitted by Gary on 12/16/2002. ( )

I have some old lizard and snake skins given to me recently. What is the best way to soften up the skins? I tried a little glycerin/alcohol on the tail of one of them and I really don't like how it makes the skin look translucent and hides the contast of the colors....obviously a bad idea. I called two taxidermist in town and they both told me to use the glycerin/alcohol mixture. Is this as good as it gets? The skins are really in pretty good shape and seemed to be reviveable.
Any help or opinions would be appreciated.

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Snake Oil ?

This response submitted by David Crookall, - SENTRY/Custom Services Cor. on 12/16/2002. ( )

That's what they called those mysterious potions sold by traveling side shows in years past. You never knew what was in them and they were supposed to cure all ills.

At SENTRY/CSC, we are always interested in furthering the art and science of preserving and making furs and leather. We have been involved in this art and science for over 50 years.

SENTRY/CSC has been specializing in developing methods and products for the leather and fur making process for all our existance. Your request opens an oportunity for all of us to do some direct research.

Yes, we have oils that have been developed and recommended for snake skins. We have never been approached with old snake skins, ( tannage or other treatments unknown ), and asked for a miracle oil that will do better than your glycerine/alcohol mix while at the same time saving the contrast of vivid colors.

Gary, if you are willing, we would be glad to send you samples of several base products for you to test. We would describe the suggested test methods to you and announce your positive results. We would domate the oil you like, if any, to any individuals with the same problem. Let us know if you want to procede.

To other professionals out there, maybe you already know how to solve Gary's problem. We'd be glad to hear it also. Thanks.

Question #2

This response submitted by Gary on 12/16/2002. ( )

Thanks David, for your response and offer. I will take you up on it?
Any comments are appreciated. You can email me as well.
Will any and all of the softening treatments darken the skin? If so, what is the last stage of tanning that leaves them with good contrast and white skin (on some). And can that process be used again to restore them?

Thanks again,

Bruce Rittel

This response submitted by wetnwild on 12/17/2002. ( )

You also may want to contact Bruce Rittel. His snake tanning kitsareterrific, and he may also have some great input!

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