more stretch

Submitted by joe kaposy on 9/1/00. ( )

does anyone know of anything that i can add to the rehydration solution, pickle or tanning solution to get more stretch and less shirinkage. i use lutan or ez-100. i thin the hide as thin as possible but i don't get as much stretch as the hides i send to carolina fur dressing. i read about things called enzymes- but i really don't understand how they work . if they do work, where do you but them. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks for your help. joe

Return to Category Menu

More stretch to your hides

This response submitted by Tony Tufaro on 9/2/00. ( )

use a good dry presevative on your capes.i use [a supply company] instant preserve.It tans the cape and moth proofs it as well.Been using it for 35yrs and it does a fantastic job on all my mounts.It also cuts thie time in half on tanning.after skinning and fleshing...apply the tanning powder...rub it in to the cape in all areas and proceed to mount your will get much more stretch in all your animal mounts.can also be used on fish and birds.This is all i use on all my specimans.try it you'll love it.if you need more info me.good luck. Tony Tufaro

DP as a tan

This response submitted by Frank Kotula on 9/2/00. ( )

Tony I hate to say that Dry Preservative is not a tan at all! It is exactly what it says a preservative. Tan and Dp's are two different products. Though what you say is true that you will get more stretch with DP but the question is why? Why does a person wish to make an animal look bigger and different than what it was in real life. If a client wants his mount to look bigger than I simple say why didn't you shot a bigger one. I'm a taxidermist not GOD, though we can make some difference when it comes to stretching I rather give the client what he has givin me.
As for you Joe, I'm not sure what you doing wrong. I've been using EZ-100 and Liqua-tan for quite some time and never had a problem with shrinkage. If you really need to learn more about tanning get a hold of Bruce Rittle. He has all kinds info on tanning.


This response submitted by Pete Tebar on 9/2/00. ( )

The problem could be that you're not thoroughly rinsing
your hide/cape,leaving salt in the hide.
I also use EZTan and also Liqutan,and it works great.Try This:
1.after 3 days in the pickle,You can now shave the hide.
2.Drain for about 45 min-1Hr,Then Shave Thin and evenly.
3.Degrease if necessary/Wash (I use Dawn Detergent or any type-
available from taxidermy supply stores)Wash thoroughly.
4. Rinse Thoroughly,Get all soap and salt out.
5.Place Back in the pickle for at least 24 Hrs before Neutralizing
If you need further help E-mail me and I'll be glad to help.
Good luck and Don't Quit!
Pete T

Just one question!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 9/2/00. ( )

You've had some good input from others - and basically, Pete's method is the one I like too - but when I reread your question - you dont mention using a tanning oil after tanning. It may have been just a slip - but unless you do use an oil - yes - you will get shrinkage after tanning. The oil holds the cape's size and prevents shrinkage - besides lubricating it. You must apply an oil no matter what tan you use. It also contributes to stretchiness. Have you been oiling after tanning? Or maybe its time to get a better oil to use!

Bruce Rittel


This response submitted by Dave on 9/2/00. ( )

I had the same question years ago, well Bruce Rittle let me know about the stretch oil gives. Well, when I started using PRO PLUS I was very amazed at the differance it made. Take his advice about the oil. I had tried just about every oil on the market, Pro-plus. Wins Hands down!

my 2 cents

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 9/2/00. ( )

You guys know I aint gonna TOUCH that dry pres. theory! And we're still dumb enough to use a$$holes name! Unbelieveable. I can tell you theres something to the oiling, though. Ive been having less than super results with some african capes. Havent we all, right? The tannery I used is great, the hides are just poor quality. Well guess what I did? Put some Pro oil from Rittel on some of those african capes after I sweat them out. Yep, they worked good. The time I SAVED wasnt with short cuts and alternative methods, rather I saved time with a skin that was easier to work with. Good luck to you regardless of which camp you come from, I hope the mounts all look good, powder OR tan.

The enzymes...

This response submitted by Steve Rotramel on 9/4/00. ( )

...that you are referring to will generally give the result of more stretch and softer tanned skin with tighter and easier break. The drawback is that they also tend to cause loose hair or even wholesale slippage.

Historically these enzymes, known as bates, were applied to hides being tanned, usually after the liming and dehairing, by covering the hides with dog or chicken poop. That's one reason the tanneries were rarely found downtown.

Today most natural bates come from cow or sheep pancreas. What they do is eat specific protein types, which includes muscle and blood. Other enzymes also eat fats. The muscles in the skin (erector pilli, etc), and some glandular tissue are broken down by the enzymes, giving the result of the aforementioned stretch, softness, and break.

The only one I know of readily available to taxidermists, is Enzol B from Knobloch's. Just be careful to use it only on "prime" skins for hair on tanning or you will for sure have loose hair.


PS: I forgot to mention that this also greatly helps in the soak-up, particularly on those tough African hides.

Return to Category Menu