Can you re-tan a hide?

Submitted by Debbie on 04/17/2004 at 22:46. ( )

If Krowtann 2000 is an Alum tan and is going to be, OR COULD BE, washed out during rehydration or being put in water. Can you re-tan the hide in Krowtann 2000 or the hide in another tanning product that is not Alum? Will it tan or fall apart? Please, no smart remarks and YES I have looked in the archives, that is the reason I have a mess! I have read the messages for months and was afraid to ask! Thank you, Debbie.

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Its fine to use folowing the directions.

This response submitted by JOhn C on 04/17/2004 at 23:14. ( )

Did it come with directions? Follow them and you will be fine. No need to add extra steps.

Why would you have to rehydrate the hide? are you planning on allowing the skin to dry?

If you are going to dry the skin, remember to oil it very well.
Well dont. its easy to use if you follow the directions.

It will not fall apart.

Yes you can, Debbie

This response submitted by George on 04/17/2004 at 23:26. ( )

Use warm water and wash it for about 20 minutes, spin dry and then retan. I'm not nearly as confident and John is about this product and I don't think any of us has lived long enough to swear about its longevity.

Just like cream tans George.

This response submitted by John C on 04/18/2004 at 09:59. ( )

Its funny how you can dis a product that is working, but yet there are a lot of people using cream tans without taking the hide thru a pickle.

You can walk into a shop thats using cream tans without salting and pickeling as smell the putrid difference.

You are not condident in a tan that the hide is soaked in but yet you are totally happy with your cream tan that just barely has time to sit on the hide a few hours and cannot fully penetrate.

Why would anyone run a tanned skin in a washing machine for 20 minutes?

I dont think many of us will be soaking a finished mount for 20 minutes to wash the tan out.

George remember when cream tans came out many old timers said they dont work but yet here you are using one.

Dont knock a product until you try it.

Yes I do John

This response submitted by George on 04/18/2004 at 10:21. ( )

But my argument has never been about the PROCESS, rather the INGREDIENTS. And I try hard not to "dis" any product, but it's so difficult with an alum tan when I'm asked (or hear asked) tough questions.

I've always been opinionated about the necessity of the pickle step as well. You know, chemically, it's difficult to explain how a hide is exposed to acid (albeit a lower pH), neutralized, and then re-exposed to an acid with a higher pH. I've heard all the "explanations", but it seems to center around "we've always done it that way". Shame is, I'm old enough to remember before "always".

In this particular case, I saw that Debbie had a growing concern about similar issues and had asked a specific question. Instead of answering, you told her not to worry. That's similar to "Don't think about white bears" in my mind. I just answered her question. If the alum won't truly wash out as some contend, the method I told her about is not changing anything anyway. Or is it?

Come on guys-

This response submitted by oldshaver on 04/18/2004 at 10:43. ( )

Lets all just agree to dis-agree.

Destructive behavior

This response submitted by John on 04/18/2004 at 22:26. ( )

Really! I agree with old shaver. The nice lady asked a simple question and you two guys have to argue like a couple of little girls. If you don't have anything constructive to say don't say it. It is fine to retan the hides just wash it and pretty much force it to leach and retan it. If this kind of behavior keeps up people will not want to ask any questions and the forum will end. Then what will people do for the knowledge and advice.

John, I have some advice for you as well

This response submitted by George on 04/19/2004 at 08:41. ( )

Pack sand. I DID answer the question if you cared to check. Now because you want to walk around with a chip on your shoulder for me and John C, that's YOUR problem and I think I just told you what to do with it as well.

Pick your pickle

This response submitted by Steve Rotramel on 04/19/2004 at 12:36. ( )


If you have a skin that has been tanned in Krowtann, there is usually no need for rehydration. If the skin has dried out a little during handling and preparation to mount, simply re-wet with a spray bottle.

If the skin has been completely dried for storage, just soak it for 10 minutes or so, and then bag it and put it in the refrigerator to sweat. Don't worry about washing the tan out. Not enough is going to come out to make a difference. This is probably not the best way to store the skins in my opinion, as you probably won't have the same stretch as before the skin was dried.

As far as re-tanning, you can re-tan with virtually any agent available. Krowtann is a pickle and a tan. It does a pretty good job of swelling the skin, which is our primary reason for pickling. A separate pickle step is not necessary.

The only reason for re-tanning would be to give the skin desirable characteristics that it doesn't have after tanning with only Krowtann. The biggest difference you would see would be from re-tanning with a syn-tan, which would take away some plumpness and probably give you more stretch.

Again, simply putting the skin in water for a short time to soak it up is not going to wash out a significant amount of the tan.

It's too bad you were afraid to ask your question.

Thank you and a long letter...

This response submitted by Debbie on 04/21/2004 at 03:31. ( )

Thank you to the people that answered my questions. I didn't go into a lot of detail about why I wanted to know if you could re-tan a hide, because I didn't want to start any fights. So much for my intentions.
I am not a taxidermist. This was my first attempt at tanning by turning a cougar into a rug. I went, by chance, on this forum to get information. I read so many "nasty" replies to peoples questions, about looking in the archives, that I didn't ask anyone anything. I looked in the archives for all my (wrong) information. I became more and more confused the more I read! And went back to the archives for more wrong information (for my needs).
I didn't know it at the time but, I was reading stuff from 1998! Like this,
"Beginners read this. Submitted by John C. on 12/25/1998
. Have you given any thought about going to the World Taxidermy Championships?"
And this,
"That's right you too can be a rebornagain christian, for only 19.95."
I can't say ANY of this helped me. I am a Christian. I wanted to learn SOMETHING about tanning. I spent more time than I can even remember, looking things up and getting bogged down with hours of NOTHING, or worse, arguing! This is the right way... NO... this is the BEST way. And no one to sort it all out!
So, I read on.
"WASCO, WASCO, WASCO!This response submitted by Bo on 10/13/1998."
So, to the WASCO website I went. There I found,
"What's New? from Wildlife Artist Supply Company. Too new for the latest catalog: Krowtann 2000
I had read about this NEW stuff and it sounded like maybe I could do this tan with the help of the booklets they said I needed for $20.00...
"The Serious Sportsman Taxidermy for Beginner's Course costs only $19.95, yet it contains fully illustrated instruction for everything you need to know to get started in taxidermy."
I ordered the Krowtann and the booklets. Seven booklets, that told me nothing about Krowtann 2000. And VERY LITTLE to nothing about rugs!

So, back to the forum I went. Looking up EVERYTHING about Krowtann 2000, and finding more arguing than information! Or insults! Or making fun of people! Or your to d#@% lazy to look in the archives!
To bad the people with the most knowledge to share have dried up and gotten hard and forgotten what it is like to be new to something and eager to learn.
Call me slow... but, finally I looked at the dates of the questions and answers and realized this was NOT a new product.
I did everything the instructions told me to do. But, I had questions about making a rug not mounting it on a form. So, I tried calling the man that made Krowtann 2000. For days, ALL I got was a busy signal. (I have NEVER gotten through to him.)
Back at the archives... I looked up rugs. Someone said to put the hide like you want it to look like as a rug and let it dry. I did... it shrunk and it got REAL hard.
Back at the archives... they said to put it back in the plain water for the amount of time it was dried. (5 days) I put it in for a day and night.
Back at the archives...they said to stretch it, stake it and let it dry. I did. It got hard and the skin ripped when I tried to break it (by hand).
Back at the archives...they said...too dry... soak it in water...then oil it. ( I couldn't find ANY information on Krowtann rugs being oiled. Everything said you didn't have to oil Krowtann.) I didn't know what kind to use or where to find any oil where I live (middle-of-nowhere).
Back in the plain water for two more days.
Back at the archives...they said you could use neats-foot oil. Bi-Mart had it. I put it on and waited for it to soak in...*tick-tock*...a week later... still waiting for it to soak in and dry! Then black spots start to show up on the skin.
Back at the archives...they said wrong kind of oil...and it is mold.
Back at the archives...they said to wash it with Tide... did...more black spots and the hair came off on a dime size place. So...
I put it in plastic bags and stuck it in the freezer, then I called Joana's and told them to send me the right kind of oil.
Back at the archives...they said Alum tans can be washed out.
That's when I asked if it could be re-tanned.
I would just throw the cougar hide in the trash and file this whole, "waste of time and money", thing up to a life lesson, but, it is the first one my brother got and I wanted to fix him a rug with it for his birthday. I seen about having a taxidermist do it into a rug. I don't have that kind of money. To late, I found out I could have sent it off for $40.00 and had it tanned.
So, now if anyone read this whole thing...I have an untanned cougar hide with mold and slipping hair in the freezer.
Do I put it in the Krowtann 2000 and tan it again, neutralize it, stretch and nail it, dry it, oil it, break it and make it into a rug?
Or do I need to stop the mold first?
Does the Krowtann 2000 stop mold?

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