Ok, how do I invert a tanned ermine which I cased? (so the fur is outside)? I can only get to halfway even with the forelegs tucked in, and then it's too tight to manuveur. Sure I could split it up the belly but I wanted it to stay cased.
Any tried & true methods from anyone?
Return to Tanning Category Menu
Directions are in the archives available by clicking on the SEARCH icon to the left and typing in "rehydrating hides"
If it's tanned, and fairly soft it shouldn't be too big a problem. If you haven't tried it already, take a piece of small dowel rod, or something similar, about 1/4" diameter. Start the skin by pushing the nose down inside the mouth, you should be able to get the whole head pushed in at least past the ears. Now put the dowel in so it rests in the "pocket" created by the nose and upper lips. Hold the dowel in one hand, and use the other to "roll" the skin down the length of teh dowel until it's all turned. This way you only have one extra skin thickness inside as you're turning it and it's not bunching up on you. You can accomplish the same thing by feeding a piece of string through the skin, tying it off through the eyes and pull it through. If for some reason your skin is just plain too stiff to turn, do like Goerge said and re-hydrate it, then it'll turn real easy.
Will try the dowel trick before I rehydrate, it's pretty flexible, just stubborn.
I use a forceps (a surgical tool, kinda like tweezers) with a box joint. I clip the forceps to the nose, then I just pull the face right out. Slowly and gently. Box joints on forceps are great.
If the ermine is a "finger" (a tiny one) just invert it by putting it on your finger and tractioning the pelt to where you can get it, then do the forceps trick.
Works every time, I have never had to open one. My ermine are all commercially tanned and I do not rehydrate before doing this.