Tanning with Aluminium Sulphate

Submitted by Jassie on 10/02/2003. ( )

I heard that in the past Taxidermists only used Aluminium Sulphate to tan skins(mixture of Alum,salt,water).Does any one know this procedure?.I wanted to try this with a Kudu cape but don't know whether it is wise.The cape has being in the Alum for 13 days.Will it be safe to remove ,rinse and rather tan the normal way?

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pros and cons

This response submitted by mark on 10/02/2003. ( mark@knoblochs.com )

Many will use alum for tanning but in the end there are better products on the market that are better for the skin and easier on the taxidermist. We have the use of a liquid type tan (Liqua Tan) that is a product that we make here in the U S that is applied to the skin and we have a powder synthetic as well ( Para Tan) that is used like the alums and lutans, but just better for you get softer skins, longer shelf life, and dries with less shrinkage , of coarse the oil helps a lot the Tanning oil #1 will make a large difference. These products have been proven to be better for tanning if I'm understanding your question. But you also said that the skin has been soaking in the Alum for 13 days already, Then their would be no need to run it through and alum bath ? You might be better off to shave this skin and use a better tan that is on the market. Alum can have a detramental effect on skin life, I would be glad to explain if you would like to contact me, I'm just trying to keep the answer short here. But in the long run you will be faced with acid rot tanning with alum, some places can properly neutralize skins to give a little longer shelf life. We have free instructonal booklets for anyone who would like to look at tanning processes

Another myth

This response submitted by oldshaver on 10/02/2003. ( oldshaver@yahoo.com )

This is another myth that the chemical sellers try to get you to believe. I have several skins tanned with aluminum sulphate that are over 10 years old. They are still in perfect condition-soft,with no hair loss.

I agree with old shaver, I have several A/S tanned hides

This response submitted by JOhn C on 10/02/2003. ( )

are over 10 years old, even had one that had been dried since 1987, I mounted it last year and it made a darn nice mount. Yes I still will use it!

Mark: Just another guy trying to run away the business.

This response submitted by Lonestar on 10/07/2003. ( )

If you think that Aluminum Sulphate will destroy your hides, then call Rick Morgan at
919-231-9933. He has forgotten more about tanning hides than Rittel and Knoblauch both put
together! (So he claims) He uses the water, salt, aluminum sulphate combination, and
has for years. He also uses 90% Formic acid which these guys will tell you will destroy
a skin (and your hands). When you know what you are doing and know how to neutralize properly with soda ash
and/or sodium bicarbonate, there are no problems. If you disagree, then ask yourself "Why is Carolina
Fur Dressing still in business after 20 some odd years?" Hmmm....

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