Hello brain trust:
I have a chance to obtain an impala that is tanned and dried rock hard. The sales person says some of the time his customers have trouble relaxing the cape.
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From what you siad - you need to use a Commercial Relaxer to rehydrate! Either our US-609 (Ultra-Soft) or someone else's - but considering what you want to do (and it's African) - I would think that 8-10 hours in an Ultra=Soft solution should relax and soften the skin. It may take longer - but that's highly unusual.
I normally relax skins by putting them in an Ultra-Soft solution at 5 PM then removing them at 9-10 Am the next morning, rinsing, and they are ready to pickle - and fully rehydrated!
I reread your post - and its not a raw, dried skin - but tanned! In that case - disregard my post on relaxing them. Instead simply relax them the safe way!
Mix the following solution. 1 Gl. of Water and 4 Ozs. of Salt to every 1 Gl. used. Soak the tanned skin in it for 30 minutes, remove, place it in a plastic bag, tie it off, and refrigerate it overnight. Ordinarily it should be relaxed and ready to prep and mount.
Thanks for your expertise