I have read all over this forum that people use glycerin for preserving this that and the other.I was wondering if it was possible to use it to preserve a snake skin?If so how and will it last?I think I remember hearing this before.
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I've also heard of glycerine being used to preserve snakeskins - but I personally would avoid it. It may be somewhat useful in mountings, but if you want to use it for crafts, like hatbands, belts, and wallets, it isnt very practical. Glycerine never dries, and it will not bond to the material you use it on. So - if the material receives stress, like a belt would, it will literally squeeze out the glycerine, then dry and crack, and obviously tear. Even in mounts - if they are exposed to heat - the heat will drive out the glycerine and cause problems. I dont consider it good for preservation.
Glycerine was used a lot for preserving snake skins for flat wall mounts or mounting on forms. It wasn't intended to be a tanning agent, but was used to keep the skin flexible. There wern't many commercial tans around when the process was used. The skin was stretched, coated with a salt/alum paste and left in a cool sport for a day or so. the salt/alum was flushed off and the glycerine was rubbed in. Some used mink oil or other supplicants.......did't make leather though. (I have a couple around that I did in the 1960's and the glycerine has glued the hide to the backing felt. They are also pretty stiff, but they haven't cracked or peeled.)
I haven't mounted a snake skin since I learned to make rubber or resin casts. I tanned and stretched several rattlers for my grandchildren in the past few years, using a commercial Reptile Tan, and was satisfied with the results.
A friend gave me a nice rattlesnake skin.......I would like to tan it and use the skin for a inlay on a deerhide guitar strap. Would appreciate advice.
A response was submitted regarding the use of glycerin to preserve snakeskins indicating that it is not recommended. My question to the forum is what would you recommend to treat and/or preserve the skin and that would stop the scales from flaking off?