I had a hair on cow hide tanned by a friend of a friend. When I got it back it was very stiff and hard but looks good. It is too stiff to throw over the coutch. IT is now about 5 yrs. old. Is ther anything I can do to soften it?
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Wet it down and re-break it, that's probably about it...apparently the person who tanned it didn't break it enough. I'd either soak it or wet down the skin side with wet rags and towels, and when it's pliable enough (though if it's too wet you'll have to let it dry out a little) you can break it, and maybe add a little tanning oil to the skin side - that might help. Breaking a hide that size won't be the easiest thing in the world but that's the only way I would know to get it softer.
Did he shave it? If not, then that may be part of the problem.
In that case, it would have to be rewet and shaved thin using a Shaving Machine. Then I'd reoil, redry, and break it soft - or tumble it soft in a Sawdust Tumbling Drum.
I don't think it was shaved , it is very thick.
I'm not fimiliar with tanning terms, What does breaking mean? What is a good softening oil and where can I get it?