Brain tanning

Submitted by Kevin on 1/1/00. ( )

I recently had a customer brought me a deer hide, he requested to have it brain tanned, i never heard of this. This man bought a piece of hide which was brain tanned, this is apparently an indian form of tanning from what he says. Anyone know anything about it?? And if any tannerys would do this for me?

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This response submitted by Jeff on 1/1/00. ( )

I dought you will ever find a tannery to do brain tan.
Go to ,it will tell you everything
about it.

another archived topic...

This response submitted by Bill on 1/1/00. ( )

That was covered in tanning archives if you wanna read more. Tanneries dont offer this but the above address dealt in it as I recall.

If I only had a brain...

This response submitted by CHUCK on 1/2/00. ( )

find a book called "Blue Mountain Buckskin" by Jim Riggs and it will tell you in great detail how to do this ancient indian way of tanning a deerskin. in short you take your fresh or thawed deerskin and stretch it with pieces of cord like baling twine to a frame approx 5 x 7 feet and flesh it by hand( or you could power flesh it but don't thin it)and let it dry til its dry and taut (flint dry)then carefully scrape all the hair off til you get thru the yellowish layer to a white layer .take it out of the frame and in another procedure put the deers brain tissue and spinal cord or cow brains into a blender with some warm water and liquify it til you get this warm,pink,brain milkshake looking soup let it cool to the touch and put it into a bucket with the fairly soft scraped skin for about a day swishing it a couple of times a day .then wring it out til its damp but not wet.put it back into the frame and with your hands one on each side palm to palm rub the skin til it feels warm and stretchy do this all over til it feels fairly uniform .this next step requires time ,muscle and patience.I use the handle end of a kids baseball bat.strech and "break" the fibers by pushing the bat into the skin and rubbing til it feels like the skin is saggy but it will double in thickness. after about 8 hrs of rubbing and breaking take it out of the frame and smoke it(yes smoke it) over a very billowy but not hot smoke pit. unless you know someone with a smokehouse this will reqire some inventiveness( is that a word?)this puts pitch into the fibers so that should the now"buckskin" get wet it will not revert back to rawhide .only ceremonial buckskin garments were made of the white unsmoked skins to show purity. Anyway,find the book , it makes for good reading.even if you decide not to do it,and appreciate modern tanning procedures.and by the way quality braintanned skins bring upwards of $ 250.00 Good Luck !! CHUCK

Send it to Chuck.

This response submitted by John C on 1/2/00. ( )

Sounds like to mich work for the everyday tax, let Chuck do it


This response submitted by ducky on 1/2/00. ( )

Go to it will tell you all you want an they sell hides too and on their chat you should be able to fine some one to do it for you..Archie Phillips also offers a tape on braining.

I am a Native American Brain-Tanner.

This response submitted by Chris "Sound of Thunder" on 3/22/01. ( )

I would be willing to do the hide for you, I brain Tan hides such as Buffalo, Elk, Etc...

Web Site-
Phone # 701-878-4379

Thank You,
Fox Den Tanning
120 N. Elm St.
Hebron, N.D.

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