I received a tanned Wart Hog from a very reputable tannery that most taxidermists use. However,after I rehydrated the cape it was like rubber. I can't do any detailing work with it so I put it back in the ffreezer. Is there any solutions to this problem? Can the cape be retaned?
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How did you rehydrate the skin? It sounds like acid swell.
Did you add salt to the water?
All tanned capes that are going to be rehydrated should be soaked in water that has salt added. Only a handfull is needed.
What happened is acid was still in the skin and the salt helps stop its form swelling. You can spray salt water on it and see if this helps the swelling but there's no guaruntees.
One other method that was in the archives was even spray some sodium bicarbonate on it.
Take Frank's advice - and thaw it and then soak in a salt water solution to return it to normal. Normally to rehydrate you should always throw in a handful of Salt like Frank suggested - but since this cape is already swollen - use 1 Lb. of Salt to each gallon of water to soak it in. Uually an acid swollen cape will return to normal after 20 - 60 minutes. The Salt will prevent the acid from drawing in water and swelling the skin. Its a very much better way to handle such a situation than spraying the cape with Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonnate).
Thanks for the tip, I will try it. Also, for your information, the tannery told me that most of the warthogs from Zimbowi have this problem from the dip they use. He also told me that the tanneries are returning the warthogs back to the taxidermist because they can not be mounted. The dip used in Zambowi rubberizes the hide, which I am victimized. He suggested that i don't put anymore time into it because it will never relax enough to get the details. However, I will try the salt. I have been in the business for 25 years and never hhad to use salt but there is a first for everything.