I bought a grizzly bear skin, hair-on, with head and claws, at an auction. There is no felt on the back. The skin itself is pretty supple, but has a number of small tears, primarily near the feet, where the weight of the claws has probably caused the damage. Some of the tears have been sown others not. I talked to a taxidermist who recommended using a vulcanizing cement over the whole hide to adhere several layers of cheesecloth to the back to reinforce and add strength. Can anyone advise with names of products to use, or with any other suggestions? I'd like to do the work myself, but I need a little more information so that I don't ruin it! Thanks!
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I've saved numerous old rugs (Bears, Zebras & Lions mostly)by using Barge cement and tanned deerskin.Barge cement is used to glue soles on shoes. Treat it like a contact cement.
I coat the questionable area and the deer skin (rough side) with the barge cement. When they are both dry, put them together,
I also reinforce sewn thin areas in the same manner.
Buy the large can of Barge Cement and a can of Barge cement thinner at most leather (hobby) shops. Great stuff.