Submitted by Duane on 7/28/99. ( )

With this humid weather, I have noticed that the coyote pelt that I have hanging in my basement is damp. I tanned it two years ago with lutan f. My question is, will this hurt the hide, and may the same thing be happening to deer mounts that I have done that may be hanging in basements? THANKS

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This response submitted by Hiller on 7/28/99. ( )

I have had tanned hides just sitting in my room for over 2 years now and they go through this same stage every year it seems and then once winter comes around they dry back out, but if there is still some salt left on the hides then that will draw alot of moisture, but no i have never had anything bad happen to them,
Well I hope this helped somewhat

uh oh

This response submitted by deer woman lady on 7/30/99. ( )

I had a beautiful red fox pelt, the biggest nicest one i've ever seen locally, which i obtained already skinned and dried( no feet) from a local trapper. I tanned it with lutan-f about 4 years ago. last year it was in my damp showroom, and got rehydrated somewhat. One day i was fooling around with it and it tore! I have since backed it with fabric to hold it together. I also went out and got a dehumidifier!!!! A great investment i must say- keeps the humidity in there quite low. Acid rot must be something that happens with lutan f- i had some commercially done lutan skins tear too when i tried to soak them out ( 2-3 year old tans), but they had been hanging in the same damp room for a few months themselves. I guess if you want a skin to hold up well in dampness, you need a syn-tan. Remember also- if you have a tanned skin for mounting and you don't mount it within 6 months, the best place to store it is in a plastic bag in the freezer ( unless its syn-tanned- then you can leave it out, but for how long i do not know- Bruce Rittel could tell you more on that...

Acid Rot...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 7/30/99. ( )

The acid rot is not caused by the Lutan-F, but from the acid in the pickle. Hopefully, you are all THOROUGHLY neutralizing the skins after pickling is complete. It is the mistake of not leaving the skins in the neutralizing bath long enough that leaves traces of acid in the fibers of the skins. It is these trace elements of acid left in the skin that can oxidize and cause acid rot, or what is more commonly referred to as "dry rot".

They are NOT in the tanning agent Lutan-F. Lutan-F is a mineral tan, not an acid tan.

Now, Alum and Aluminum Sulfate tans are notorious for eventually producing this condition. With these tannages it is impossible to remove the acid from the skin as the oxidation of the sulfates used in the tan itself, results in them turining into a dry stage of sulfuric acid.

This is the biggest problem with "home" tanners that have not been fully and thoroughly educated in the principles of tanning. You must do your homework, and read all there is on the principles of tanning, the reaction of acids, and the chemistry of tanning, as it all relates to success or failure.

The best way to store a tanned skin that is to be used for a future mount, providing it has also been properly and completely neutralized, is to keep the hide frozen in a dry state ... without first soaking it up. This goes for ANY tanned skin! You just never know if all of the acid from the pickle has been fully reduced to an inert matter. Besides, weather-related conditions such as humidity and dry air, and the constant push-pull between the two, will have a profound impact on the "shelf-life" of a tanned skin. It's better to be safe than sorry.

In short, there is nothing wrong with Lutan-F. There hasn't been for years ... especially if the entire process is done correctly and thoroughly. Then again, that goes for any part of this industry, from field prep up to and including finishing, and all steps in between. Tanning included!

Best of luck to all, and keep up the great work ... John B.

Acid Testing ...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 7/30/99. ( )

By the way, the best and most inexpensive way to test the skin for full neutralization, is to use Ph paper strips. They can be purchased as a roll in a neat dispenser for very little money.

After a half hour or so of ocassionaly stirring the hide in the neutralizing bath, remove the hide, squeezing out the excess fluid, and let it hang up to drain a couple of minutes.

Then place several small strips of Ph paper, to different locations on the damp hide and squeeze them well into contact so as to draw a true and "deep" moisture level from within the skin onto the Ph strips.

Let them sit untill there's a color change, then remove each one and check it against the color guide that comes in the roll. You can see it right through the clear plastic dispenser.

The Ph level should be well above 4.0 on each strip.

There, I thought I left out some pertinent information on how to fully make the test.

Hope this helps further ... John B.


This response submitted by DUANE on 7/30/99. ( )

Thank you for your response, altuough, in no way was I assuming that there is a problem with lutan-f. I understand that I am a beginner, even after three years of living, breathing everything to do with taxidermy. It is a very exciting thing to be able to interact with people like John and Bruce, one on one. Look forward to reading more of your articles in BREAKTHROUGH!

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