I was wondering if anyone could help? I just recieved an elk cape back from tanner, it has slipped two baseball size areas on the back of neck .I am planning on sewing in two patches from another hide ,it is still slipping around the bare areas ,will this stop when it dries out after mounting ? Is there anything I can do to stop any more hair loss? will salting set the rest of the hair?
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Hopefully the slippage will be isolated to those areas. Sewing in some fur patches might be difficult. Usually the hair is a different length or color, but it would be better than a bald spot. It might also be good to place a wet rag over the area to rehydrate it prior to sewing. It will make it easier to cut and sew then. A friend of mine has a deer mount that is shedding hair terribly all over. Maybe it wasn't neutralized correctly. He also has a moose head that is doing the same thing. They both came from the same tannery so maybe the fault lies with them.
A common cause for shedding hair is drumming them too long in sawdust. If dry tanned. If it is not slipping, but rather losing hair all over, not in a centralized area. Probably was drummed too long in which case, return to the tanner and request a replacement cape. Most reputable tanneries will recognize the problem immediately and comply with the request. If not, then you may reconsider where you will do future commercial tanning.
Simple test for overdrummed, dry-tanned capes (especially hollow haired species such as moose, caribou, and antelope): hold the cape out from you and shake it vigorously 5-10 seconds like you were shaking a rug. If a cloud of hair floats down, then it was the overdrumming.
You can over drum hollow haired species, but Elk. Maybe you could go into more detail.
The overdrumming post was in reference to the second posting about the deer cape and the moose cape. More specifically the moose. Deer hold up much better in the sawdust than moose.
For clarification on the first post: Elk capes are similar to deer capes in that they hold up better in the drum than do moose, antelope, etc..
However, elk hides can be overdrummed. The resulting hair loss will be mainly from the middle of the backhide back to the blond area around the tail.
Steve's problem with a localized area on an elk cape could be due to several different things. Overdrumming probably can be excluded since he describes "patches" missing. Whatever the reason for the hairloss, it will be difficult to convince a tanner to "make it right" for slippage areas. (The tan at your own peril disclaimer.)
In reference to the question, "Is there any way to stop more hairloss?". Once the proteins that form the hair follicle breakdown (destroyed by bacteria or various chemical agents), the hair will fall out of the leather. You will loose all the hair that has lost the "hold" in the hide. You can't stop that. Before you cut the patch out, make sure all the loose hair is gone. You don't want to waste time sewing an area and then lose more hair beyond your stitching.