I recently did a wolf cape for a local environmental center for teaching purposes. I fleshed it and salted it and sent it off to be tanned. Got it back, installed a jawset and eyes (the naturalist wanted it to look alive so the kids could get the idea of what a real wolf looks like). It was just a dry pelt with a finished head. Ran into the Naturalist at the store today and she told me that every time she pulls the wolf out of the box to show the kids....all this white pilly stuff is at the bottom of the box. I questioned her to see if perhaps it was sawdust coming out of the paw pads, and she said that it looked more like powdered laundry detergent....a fine, white powdery substance. I called the tannery and he said he had no clue. My question is...is this cape disintegrating? ANY help to clear up this mystery would be great.
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If it was going to fall all the pieces, it would have probablly fell apart at the Tannery, and they would have rejected it. Wood flour maybe? Seen em fall into little pieces when rotten, but never powder.
Tlc, tell her to make sure there aren't any bugs or flour beetle (1/4" long- black w/ brown stripe) shells in the box or on the hide. Those little beetles will eat a hide up, even a tanned one. And they leave a powdery dust from chewing dry hide.