I was just wondering if anyone could tell me when I should degrease my first sheepskin? I am tanning with Lutan F and don't know whether to degrease before or after I pickle the hide.
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This isn't an answer to your question, but I've been told that sheep hides need a more specialized treatment than ordinary hides. That's why I've never even tried them and always send them out to a commercial tannery. Bruce, if you're close by, is that true? And if so, why the difference?
Yes - they contain Lanolin and many ordinary great grease cutters do not remove it well, in fact many are absorbed by the absorbancy of the wool and they're difficult to remove! So - you face degreasing them using a degreaser, but one which will cut the grease, and the Lanolin in the Wool, and rinse away free - so it doesnt influence the skin later during tanning. My choice for this is Rittels Wool Degreaser (WD-608)!When its thoroughly pickled, drained for 30 minutes, shaved, then you do the degreasing, rinse well, and return them to the pickle until you are ready to neutralize and tan.