Soften cowhide rug?

Submitted by Anderson Darby on 5/3/05 at 11:09 AM. ( )

Have had two cowhide rug for two years. All the edges curl up. Time and gravity did not fix. Hung them on the porch and hosed them off and they still are the same or worse. Other rugs I see are so soft. Mine are extremely coarse. Please help.

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rug problems

This response submitted by Mary's Rugmaking on 5/3/05 at 11:37 AM. ( )

Hello, I have been a rugmaker for the taxidermy industry for the past 16+ years. It is common for any rug to curl after a period of time if no backing had been attached to weight the ends down.Unfortunatly the problem was made worse by rehydrating (hosing it down) and just letting it air dry . Don't feel simply did not know! After rehydrating any rug skin,a softeneing agent needs to be put in the water, it should then be tacked or nailed out to dry flat. Leaving it untacked after being wet to dry on it's own , only promoted it to curl more and have a very hard,buckskin feel to it. Also , the type of tan plays an important part in the procedures. Many cow hides are chrome tanned,which need to be handled a bit differently than a regular commercial tan.
Please feel free to call or e-mail me as I may be able to help you restore this rug into a lovely decorative piece for you home again.
Best regards,
Mary Hilliard-Krueger
Mary's Rugmaking

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