quick rehydration of tanned hide question

Submitted by samantha on 8/16/04 at 11:18 PM. ( )

Have a tanned deer cape i am rehydrating. The time of immersion in the water mix varied in the archs from 20 minutes to over night.
Had the cape in the water for bout 1 1/2 hours. Most of the hide is pliable and i've been working it every now n then.only thing is the ear cartliedge, eye area, nose area and some small areas thru the shoulders are still quite firm/hard.
What i would like to know is , should i pull it out now and hope these areas soften up while bagged and in the refridgerator over night or is it safe to just keep it soaking?

I usually freeze my tanned capes till mounting time.

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This response submitted by George on 8/17/04 at 8:31 AM. ( georoof@aol.com )

One to two hours of saturation soak is more than sufficient. Warm water, of course, works better than cold. Some people have recently stated "hot" water, but I'd never do that with a tanned hide to be mounted.

The "sweating" is the most important step in rehydration. Once your soak is complete, hang it up and let drip dry until the water stops dripping. Place it in a plastic bag and leave it at LEAST overnight. Sometimes on harder hides, I let it sweat for 24 hours. You'll find the sweating is what makes those hard to get places soften.

does one have to be careful about slippage?

This response submitted by gary on 8/17/04 at 11:04 AM. ( )

when you are sweating a already tanned hide? or once a hide is tanned one doesnt have to worry about it slipping on you when you rehydrate it? just wondering thanks.


This response submitted by George on 8/17/04 at 2:09 PM. ( )

Slippage is caused by bacterial growth on fresh tissue. If a hide is properly and thoroughly tanned, actual slippage should not be a concern. You may pull hairs out, but the loss of the epidermal layer should be extremely rare.


This response submitted by samantha on 8/17/04 at 9:23 PM. ( )

Thanks for that george.
I pulled it out just after i wrote for the advice for how long to soak as i noticed the tell tale sign of slip. You know - the lifted epidermis round the nostril and eyes.
Drained it and checked it over and turned the ears which were still firm at the butts (with my breath held) and found the ears had slipped, 1 worse than the other and after 12 hours in fridge the ears and eyes are still to firm to work with.
I followed the original tanners rehydration instruction to the t (he never told me how long.
I am hoping that i get a replacement cape from the guy i got it from.I have never experienced 'slip' in a tanned cape before.

Doomed before tanned

This response submitted by tom on 8/18/04 at 1:05 AM. ( )

I would bet the cape was not handeled right before it was tanned. The damage was already done.

Ditto Tom

This response submitted by David Patton on 8/18/04 at 11:00 AM. ( )

All extremely good advice. I would go with Tom's bet that the cape was already in poor condition in the areas you saw slippage Samantha. Also, it is common to get slippage on the ears and around the eyes and nose due to improper formulation of the tan (weak tan). Good Luck with the replacement.



This response submitted by samantha on 8/18/04 at 7:16 PM. ( )

According to the tanner and the guy i got the cape from - its my fault and sounds like - too bad.


This response submitted by slipping... on 8/24/04 at 12:10 AM. ( )

I agree, most slippage problems are from a bad cape before getting it tanned. I just got 2 mulies back from the tannery. One slipped and I only had it soaking 2 hours to measure it. It slipped around the mouth and along the snout. It had been shot in the head and supposedly frozen within a couple hours. I remember when I prepped it, it was a bloody mess. I will never accept a cape like that again. The second cape from the same batch came out perfect so I know it wasn't the tan.

And my buddy shot a antelope and waited 2 days before caping it, sure enough it came back and the ears slipped. Another cape for the trash can.

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