I am sending off a deer cape to be tanned for the first time. I noticed in the paperwork, to send off to the tannery, it asks if I want wet or dry tan. I hate to say "duh" but I honestly am not sure which is what or what the difference is. Can someone enlighten me? I am having this skin tanned to mount. Thanks for your time.
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FOR MOUNTING I WOULD WET TAN THEM,DRY TAN I USE FOR RUG'S AND GARMENTS ,WET TANNING FOR MOUNTING SO YOU HAVE A CONTROLED SKIN THAT WILL BE EASY TO WORK WITH,AND BETTER STREACH.
Wet tan means they did not dry the hide out before they mailed it back to you.
It's a matter of personal choice. If you have it dry tanned, everything will arrive at your place dry and you will have to re-hydrate them. If it is wet tan, they will arrive in a condition ready for mounting. If you are doing rugs you may want the dry tan and only re-hydrate what you intend to work on or mount, the head area. For capes if they are dry it is best to re-hydrate the day before put aside in a plastic bag to "Sweat" over night and they should be ready to mount the next day. Usually 1/4 lb of salt to 1 gal of water needed to put the hide in is what is needed. Don't let it soak all day. It may only need a 1/2 hour or so depending on the cape to soften up. More time for heavier capes.
Besides, why pay extra shipping because you want your hide wet-- just rehydrate the dry tan and it will have just as much stretch as a wet tanned one!
Any time you dry cape and rehydrate it you lose streatch,you lose size that way I perfer wet tan.
Soft tanning involves breaking the fibers and finishing the leather as well as cleaning the hair/fur. This always results in a dry skin. Wet tanning is the same until you get to the finishing process. Breaking the fibers are not necessary in the wet process,since the leather will not be dryed out. These skins only are drummed to remove excess oils on the leather. Consequently the hair does not come as clean as dry tanned skins. I dont recommend wet tans for furred animals. You will spend valuable time trying clean them. Dry tans and wet tans cost the same so one might as well have us earn our keep and finish furred specimens out. I hope this is a help, Brian