Fleshing and Tanning

Submitted by Sean on 9/9/99. ( )

Ok,let me sound stupid for a minute or so. I went to Taxidermy school back some months ago. We went over fleshing,tanning,and probly my question too. However, I don't beleave that I'm going to start tanning myself for a while. My question is this how much fleshing do you have to do before and after you send a cape off to a tannery. If it depends on the tannery then please tell me of some that do the most fleshing. I realize that I will still need to thin the face.
I just dont have the money to buy my needed equipment right away.
Thanks for your help.

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Fleshing and tanning

This response submitted by Mark on 9/10/99. ( fishguy@scc.net )

Sean, you should have to do no fleshing if the tannery does their job. Thats what you pay for them to do. the only fleshing usually is around the face. Good Luck, Mark

More Detail

This response submitted by Matt on 9/10/99. ( )

I'd like a little more detail on this subject. I've been in shops that simply cape the deer, salt and send it off. Other shops really work the skin clean, salt until flint dry and then send it to the tannery. One veteran said that doing all that fleshing before sending to the tannery is a waste of time...the other said he doesn't want slippage/bacteria problems. Both came back fine, but I'm still curious about the bacteria question. What's the best/safest/quickest way? Arlington Cape @ Bruce you out there?


This response submitted by steve on 9/10/99. ( bpfd@3rivers.net )

one should always remove all the fat and big chunks of meat
before salting. salt can't penatrate fat, also fat can cause
grease burning on your skins, then you may loose some of the
life of your skins. If you take your time skining there should
be little to no fleshing involved. Also when you salt your
skins place your salt in the middle of your skin and
work it to the edges to avoid the edges from curling.
good luck

Get rid of the fat and chunks of Meat!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 9/10/99. ( rittel@ici.net )

Save yourself some trouble and flesh those skins clean of the fat and chunks of meat, before you double salt, dry and send them off to the Tannery! Tanneries are no magicians, and much of the feedback from some Taxidermists, about a poor Tannery job, really falls in their lap, because they send out what is really "garbage" (putrid with chunks of meat and fat) and expect the Tanneries to perform miracles! If you dont remove the meat and fat, your Salt will not penetrate, plus if it putrifies and in turn, putrifies the tissue below it, in your shop or in transit, you will have hair or fur loss (slippage)! Tanneries do a good job and I think you are making a wise decision to send out your work if you have not reached a point where you own a Shaver or lack the time to do you own tanning. Many Taxidermists work other full-time jobs and using a Tannery is very convenient for them. As to how I recommend doing it - I skin the cape, turn the lips, eyes, ears, remove chunks of meat and fat, salt heavly and drain the liquids for 1-2 days, then flesh away any remaining debris including all of the membrane, resalt and after 1-2 days, I open it and hang it over a clothesline or beam to dry rock-hard. Then I would ship it out - or I would tan it myself! Do your customer and your Tanner a favor - dont send out garbage - remove the flesh and fat! Remember that ":Garbage in = Garbage out"! Good Luck!

I own a tannery

This response submitted by Eric Schade on 9/10/99. ( )

If you don't take the time to properly clean your skins of the major
hunks of fat and meat your going to have problems with slippage. We
do some pretty amazing things with some of the junk we get in but
once it slips it is shot. take the time and do it right and you will get back
great stuff.



This response submitted by Sean on 9/10/99. ( )

I really appreciate everyones feedback. I was pretty satified with Bruce's feedback. Bruce if you or anyone else for that matter can help me just a little more I would apreciate it. I was wandering when you talked about getting rid of fat and meat then salting for 1-2 days then scraping and resalting. During this process are you worring about getting the cape back into the freezer,or are you salting and leaving them out that hole drying period. If someone could help then thanks.

Hide preperation for sean

This response submitted by Shep on 9/16/99. ( )

The correct procedure is quite simple. We do over 500 capes a year so we have to be very proficient and accurate. First, the cleaner the better. Which means simply, all meat, all fat knocked off on a fleshing beam. Remember for any hide to turn the lips, nose, ears ect, completly!! Rmemeber, efficiency is the key, dont take all day to prep this cape. Turn and clean, the cape is at room temperture, and is slowly decaying at that moment, so be quick, yet throrough. Next, salt, every noock and crany of the cape or hide, rub in good. Do this for the next 3 days. Next, hang up, dry, until the hide is becoming stiff, but still can be folded w/ skin side out. BUT DONT FOLD when the skin is still damp. This will cause it to remain damp on the inside which will in turn cause problems during the tanning process. NUMBER ONE thing, hide must be dry in order to set the epidermis and hair!! During the salting process the cape should never have to go back into the freezer. Once the hide is dried hard, it is CURED and ready to tan.

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