After salting a hide twice and letting dry, how long is it safe to leave dry before pickling and tanning?
How do most Taxi's handle it when they first get a job in?
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Months, if it is kept in a cool, dry place. I did a couple of goat skins for rugs that had been salted and dried two years and they turned out good but it is risky, often rodents or bugs have got into them because they have been forgotten and time does cause damage too.
Usually 1.5-2.0 years is long enough! Beyond that the skins seem to lose their moisture content and the fibers begin to collapse and glue themselves together - making it almost impossible to rehydrate them and attain any degree of softness before pickling them! I have seen exceptions to this - but only because the skins were kept air tight!
Dont try to keep the skins salted and dried beyond 2 years!