Porcupine quill and hair removal

Submitted by Bill Miller on 12/28/2003. ( servant719@yahoo.com )

I am not a taxidermist, but I have recently aquired a dead (roadkill) porcupine from which I wish to recover the guard hairs and quills for various Native American-related regalia items (a dance roach and quill work, specifically). I have already skinned the carcass and currently have the skin frozen. I don't care about preserving the hide (the car ruined it anyway), but does anyone know a good method for removing the hair and quills without damaging them?

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Here is what I do....

This response submitted by b bishop on 12/28/2003. ( )

I take the skin ( thawed) and put some heavy leather gloves on . Stroke the pelt from nose to tail to lay the quills down then with every stroke in the same direction , grab some quills between your thumb and point finger . and remove them as you keep the same motion going . It will take a while and you won't believe the amount of quills you get out . Then I put all the quills into a bucket with paint thinner overnight and stire them every so often. Strain out and make a Dawn dish soap and warm water solution and pour the quills into it and turn over many times. Strain out again, lay out on layers of nespapers to dry and then start seperating them from the guard hair. ( P.S. no need to skin the porky for this next time )
Have fun , very time consuming but worth it in the final product.

Kiwic work

This response submitted by gordon on 12/28/2003. ( )

Beat the porky with styrofoam, as per solid insulation etc. Quick on quills.

Quill and hair removal from the porky

This response submitted by Ric Carter on 12/29/2003. ( waksupi@aboutmontana.net )

I have done quite a few in the past, as I do restoration and reproductions of native items.

The easiest method I have found, is to soak the hide for a few days in water to get the hair slipping. Then put it on a fleshing beam, and use the fleshing knife to push everything off. Takes about fifteen minutes or less to get every thing off.

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