I was vegetable tanning a squirrel hide recently. fleshed it, cured it, and put it in a weak tannin bath for about 3 days, and then a generously stronger one for 5 more days. When it took it out and let it dry it turned a very dark brown to black color. i have not oiled or broken the skin yet just wondering if this is normal, if not what i did wrong. Also when fleshing i got the meat off easily but was having some trouble with membrane right next to the skin any help on how to get that off. Thanks alot for your help.
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at any time did the solution or hide touch metal ? or perhaps the tanning vessel was metal? vegetable tans reacte with any metal and go black. What was the tanning agent ? oak bark, hemlock bark, qubracho ?
Even with low amounts of iron in your local water - they sometimes turn grey. Most Veg tanners use a chelating agent to remove the iron before tanning. But turning black definitely indicates your skins have been exposed to iron - whether in your water or another source.
i used oak bark and oak wood for the tanning agent. also it turned black after it dried out if that tells you anything. thanks again.