Hi I have checked the seach button and have not had much luck.What can I use to soften a salt dried hide.I read about kemal-4 or othere chemicals.Is there one chemical or solution that someone could recomend.I usually tan new hides and have recieved a few that are salt dried.I know I can send them to a tannery but I enjoy tanning my own stuff.I would enjoy any advice that I can recieve.Thanks in advance John
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Just put a little bacteriacide (such as the type Mr. Rittels sells)in with your water and allow the skins to remain until they have relaxed. Remove the skins as soon as they are relaxed, rinse them in plain water to remove some of the blood and mud, then put them into the pickle.
I never leave the skins in the water too long. It usually takes a couple of hours for them to relax enough to make them pliable. After I remove the skins from the water I put them in plastic bags in the fridge over night then into the pickle. I use Rittels Bactericide.
A salted hide can be soaked in a solution of cool, clean water containing one-fourth cup of salt, 1 ounce of borax and 2 ounces of detergent per gallon. The soaking should continue only long enough to soften the skin. Thin skin should take one to two hours and a heavier skin could take up to 8 or 10 hours. Then pickle them in a solution of 1 pound and 1/2 pound alum per every 2 gallons of water.
You can slip a hide real fast if your rehydrating a hide like that. Borax will raise the PH in the water and that cause the problems. Instead use Bruce's ultra-soft and just follow his instructions and you'll never have a problem. Also no need for bactercide also with it.
I agree with Frank in that Ultra-soft is the was to go. I do add some of Bruce's Blood-Eater to the mix, even with capes that don't look like they have blood on them. It will be a cleaner cape and cleaner pickle solution.