Hi there all,
I am a bit of a 'handy-woman' and have a caribu skin with fur rug that i would like to recondition. It has started to shed a lot and want to know what should i do to stop it of shedding soo much. It is quite old.
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If you've been using it as a rug, you've been breaking the hairs which are now falling out. Besides, it's old, the original hair that the caribou grew on it were designed to last ONE season and then fall out anyway, to be replaced with new hair. The best you can hope for is to shake out the broken and loose hair. "Reconditioning" is not something you can do with this sort of thing.
Check deep in the base of the hair for shells or debris from dermestids. In many very old skins, sometimes tanning techniques were questionable. Dermestids could be the cause of hair loss as they eat at the base of the hair folicle.If indeed this is the problem, take steps to kill the pesky little bugs.Call or e-mail me if you need advice on how to do so. Either way a good shaking or air compressed cleaning of the hair side is your next step. I would then recommend putting hangers on the rug and hanging it on a wall as to prevent any furthur damage of the hair.
Best of luck to you,
Hi there Mary,
Thank you for your advice! I did not even know what dermestids were. I had to look it up. I checked and it does not seem to have any. The truth of the matter is that I found this skin in a garage sale today (sunday) and the owner told me he had it in storage. I was intending to use it as a decorative rug. I only paid $20.00 although he wanted quite a bit more for it, but I thought even if it was old, it sounded like a good offer. The owner also told me that I could try to use lanolin on the back to moisturize it a bit since it was a bit dry. If I vacuum it lightly, do you think it would damage it? Hanging it sounds like a good solution too but it is very heavy, Are these skins put on some sort of mounting frame and is there a site to buy supplies for this?
Thanks for your help!
In the Industry we call an older dried out skin "dry rotted". Lanolin is not going to help it. If the skin is very heavy and dry rotted hanging it on the wall by pounding nails through the leather will more than likely tear away from the weight of the hide and the condition of the leather. Your next best option is to lay it on the floor in an area where it will recieve no foot traffic. Laying it over a piece of furniture will leave it shedding on the furniture and whoever sits near it.Using an air compressor to blow the hide clean is the best method, but using the attachment hose of your vacuum(if that is your only available source) may work just fine. Just handle with gentle care.You may consider vulcanizing the leather and having a backing attached which may allow you to hang the skin on the wall with proper hangers attached. This is a service a professional rugmaker can assist you with, but it may be a bit pricy for your $20.00 find. If I can be of any help, call or e-mail me for quotes.