a native american customer of mine wants a raw hide with the hair off, how do i get the hair off? with out putting it into any kind of tanning agents?
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do it like the Native American did. Braintan it. Your best off getting a book from a bookstore or craftstore on braintanning. Most the time the hide was immersed in a fast running river with rocks on top of it to keep it from washing away. Several days later the hair were usually gone, washed away by the running water. After that they fleshed it and scraped it really good. Cooked the brain and smeered it plus the brew the brain was cooking in all over the hide. Then they rolled it up and either let it sit for a while. Then they started on the breaking of the hide over either thick rope or a treebranch. Now if your leather is suppose to be for garnment and has to be waterproof you have to smoke it for several hours or sometimes day. That's when the leather gets the dirty buckskin look. If you don't smoke it it will be white. But like I said you ought to get yourself a book and read up on it. Braintanning is not hard just a lot of work. you could also opt to just send the hide to a tannery that does hair off tanning like Hershey Fur in Pennsylvania.
Tried it as a kid, and it works. An older neighbor was heavy into any kind of raw hide work, truly a master of a dying art, and he got me interested in it too. Ufortunately I didn't stick with the raw hide end, so it's been awhile, but to do it the old way, just add a bunch of wood ash to water, soak the raw skins in it, and keep checking them. As soon as the hair starts to loosen up, put it on a beam and use your scraping knife to push the hair off. Don't let it get too far or the skin itself will actually tear apart. After you de-hair it, just rinse it real good in clear water and tack it out to dry, or cut it to use. Actual raw hide hasn't had any salting or tanning done to it. I know there's probably a lot of other, nore modern chemicals and ways of doing it, but this method will work and hold up just fine, I know where there's a bunch of real nice braided raw hide form as far back as the late 30's as examples.
p. s. I can't tell you how much ash for how much water, it's kind of like the older ladies cooked, just so much of this and a pinch of that, but put quite a bit in.