i bought some small cowhides (3'x4') a few years back but they are incredibly stiff and smell terrible (bad chemical smell) - i'm assuming they were tanned incorrectly but am wondering if there is anything i can do now to make them usable...
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You'll have to rewet these pieces and then re-oil! Unfortunately they may take on a darker color by reoiling - but at least they may become softer.
I suggest a rewet using an agent like our US-609 - then reoiling using a good oil like our PP-301!