Could someone please settle a disagreement for me. My friend and I both do taxidermy. We are in disagreement as to wheather it is necessary to pickle a cape after salting. He says no- He salts, then tans. I say yes, I salt, pickle, then tan. Which is the proper way? Also if it makes any difference, he just uses the hides on forms. I use hides for forms and other things. Thanks Carrie
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For a regular tan, yes the cape needs to be pickled, even the brush on tans say to pickle them.
Krowtann-2000 goes from fresh skinned into the solution.
I have in the past, fleshed and painted Liqa-tan immediatly onto the hide and mounted the next day. It worked but if you do several deer heads you will have a nasty musty smell lingering in your shop.
Using the Auto-tanner you can split, ruff flesh, run the skin in the tanner, remove shave, run a bit longer in the tanner, oil and mount the skin.
Pick your favorite method of tanning and I am sure its been changed and other things tried by adding or removing steps.
check John Rinehart's supply catalog or McKensie for cream tan, they're affiliated now...no one ever mentions the Rinehart cream tan on here but I use it alot with great results (after all I am a graduate of AIT) and pickling is an option but not mandatory...flesh,salt, flint dry, rehydrate, wash, cream tan overnight, ready for mounting or freezer.
I didn't graduate anything but high school, but I've used JRTS for years. All of you may be shocked to learn that, as Glen Conley explained to me, "tanning" really has no PROPER procedures. Look it up in a dictionary if you doubt me. With JRTS, a pickle step is "optional", but with the brain tans and a few others, the word pickle never comes up. Best advice is, "If it works for you, why change?"
John Rinehart is one of the pioneers in taxidermy, his products and procedures are benifitial to save the taxidermist time and money. We could all use alittle of that... works for me.
The difference is - are you Tanning (using a tanning agent) or Tawing (using a loosely bonded agent)! That makes a difference!
Alum tans are a good example of a loosely bonding agent. When you use it - it looks tanned, feels tanned, and can be very useful! But - don't get it wet, or wash it too hard in a detergent solution or you will begin to remove some of it! The problem is - it's only loosely bonded to the fibers unlike strongly bonded tans like Chrome,vegetable extracts, Gluteraldehyde or EZ-100. It can be washed out.
However - one of the nice things about using alum is that it also shrinks the skin. This tightens up the fur or hair. It also tends to thicken the skin so shaving is easier too!
Because it acts like it does - it remains popular with some Taxidermists - but when you are interested in longevity - I would pick a Tanning type of agent every time! Unfortunately Alum tanned leathers only survive, even under ideal conditions, for 12-16 years. Then they begin to weaken from the Sulphates left in them and they can be torn like a piece of paper. The Sulphates draw moisture from the atmosphere and they reform into Sulphuric Acid.
There is a good reason why Alum tanned skins arent used for shoes. Ask a leather Tanner. If they got wet repeatedly - the leather would lose some of the Alum and you would get hard spots! And you definitely couldnt wash them. Ask a Furrier how long a fur coat will last. Rarely beyond 16 years. They have to be dry cleaned if dirty - not washed!
So after all this - i can safely say that you dont need to pickle using an Alum product or DP. In fact the old-timers had an Alum paste recipe for tanning - no pickle at all. Simply rub it in, let it dry, scrape it off, do this 2 times and its Tawwed! Notice I didnt say tanned!
Dear Bruce: Would this lack of longevity apply to the use of Krowtann - 2000? In your last response to me you stated it was an Alum type tan.