Over the years I've read a lot of conflicting info. on what's the best way to rehydrate a tanned cape. I've been using Lutan-F and usually rehydrate with a handful of salt in about five gallons of water and leave it overnight. I've heard the salt will prevent acid swelling, but I have done a few capes without the salt with no ill affects. I've also rehydrated by just soaking in a small amount of water for about a 1/2 hour and then placing the cape in a plastic bag and then placing this in a fridge overnight. It rehydrates faster for me by just leaving it soak in five gallons of water. I know some people say that this water will wash out the tan in the cape, but on the other hand I've heard some people say that if a cape is properly tanned the water will not wash the tan out of the skin. So anyhow, anyone have any input on this?....Maybe I'm thinking too much again....Steve A.
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Steve,I think you've gotten your terms confused or I'M sure confused. A dry tanned hide doesn't get acid swell. The handful of salt is used as a surfacant. I use Downey but I'd never let one set in water overnight. A couple hours at the most, drip dry and BAG IT overnight. My larger question, however, is why you dry tan it at home. A wet tan is just so much easier to work with anyway in my opinion.
Dry tanned skins sure can get acid swell! If alum tawed. Ever seen dry rot? The skins will disintegrate in your hands.
Steve, you're thinking too much. Don't worry. Just rehydrate the cape or skin as you wish. Lutan-F won't wash out in half an hour unless you are washing with pure ammonia or alkali like lye.
You don't need a surfactant if you're working with "factory tanned" stuff. The tanning oil will draw the water into the skin and evenly rehydrate.
I rehydrate in a witch's brew, usually a little of this, a little of that, mostly lukewarm water, and by some miracle, the skins do rehydrate and don't blow up, and it only takes about 10 minutes for a weasel, to about 4 hours for a fox - including the time needed to soften the ears.
Just do what you're doing, sans worrying, it sounds fine.
What is witch's brew