tried doing my homework before asking for answers here but no luck. this is what happened.......
about a year ago i bought a cape from someone here. it was commercially tanned (dry tanned)and it was a very pretty doe cape. well, a buck cape had just arrived here from another person i purchased a cape from. so i decided it was time to start getting these projects worked on. i pulled out the doe cape from box that it arrived in and it fell apart like paper. now i know that we all heard about capes falling apart during the hydrating stage but not when it was just in the box.
the only hypothesis that i could come up with is that the whole time the doe cape was in the box it hydrated itself (the face area only) and it fell apart because of acid rot, or it was a old cape. could there be other resons?
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One is how old was the cape from who you bought it from? I personally don't like buying any cape that is dry tannned unless I know the person or company. I want a dry tanned that was done this year only, other than that it must be a wet tan.
Ok now why dry over wet. If you have a dry tanned hide that is over a year or more that was lets just say in a very warm area or damp space. During this time moisture and oils does get removed from the cape just because it's just a normal process. This is why fur coats are stored in a vault that is temperature controled during the summer months.
Now you say the face fell apart like paper. That can be from dry rot again very old cape or the cape like you stated did have acid rot and was not totally neturlized properlly.
It's just hard to really say what went wrong here with out having the cape here in our hands.
A friend of mine had an Artic fox haging in his house (dry tanned) warm and finally after three year said I want you to mount it up when you come up here. I explained this to him but some folks don't listen and rehydrated it, came up and the fow fell apart. Wow blew that money.
Plus there's more varibles yet. Let it be a lesson well learned and from this day on look for those who have a wet tanned hide that is frozen. Those hides last for extremely long time.
Hope this give you some insight.
the acid in the skin is re-activated from moisture , this is why fur coat go in cold storage. If the skins where neutralized this would not have to be done. Dry tan is not needed for mounts only rugs.
So the skin does not dry up.Demand that any tannery used neutralize the skin. When you get them back wet a corner and put a PH paper on it , if it turns rerd or pink colour ,their is acid in it.
Call me at 705-476-0483 and I can help you out.
for all the great posts! i'll consider wet tanned capes or mounting capes sooner. thank you again!