dry salting

Submitted by Rob on 7/19/99. ( )

I read a post below about dry salting a slipping hide and not to go directly into the pickle.Now my question--The dry salting doesn't kill the bacteria,it just puts them in a dormant stage untill moisture gets on the hide again--I believe the dormant bacteria may be called spores.Doesn't the bacteria start damaging the cape immediately when it is rehydrating before pickling unless it is rehydrated below 2.5 ph.Rehydrating hard salt dried capes can tend to take a while promoting slippage.I was trained not to rehydrate a hide in a pickle.Why wouldn't it be better to skip the salt and place the skin right in the pickle killing all bacteria quickly? I have tanned many questionable skins without salting and have had good results.I do have a salinometer(?) to keep the correct salt content in the pickle. The dry salting seems like an unnecessary step with bad skins,unless extra precautions are used.

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This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 7/20/99. ( rittel@ici.net )

Bacteria need several things to grow and to continue damaging your skins. They need moisture, darkness and heat. The Salting eliminates the juices in the skin by leaching them out so they no longer contribute to bacterial growth. Likewise, by leaching them out it also subsequently tightens the skin (epidermis) around the base of each fur or hair, ensuring that unless its already damaged - it wont further deteriorate. You cant repair damage!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Salt - by itself is a preservative. Albeit a TEMPORARY preservative - but it does offer protection from rampant bacterial growth. So - by the same token - relax your hides in a salt brine prior to pickling - or use water and a bacteriacide - but that becomes expensive. Either method will NOT give the skin an opportunity to have bacteria grow. Once in the pickle - it should kill all bacterial growth potential and you should have a sterile skin.


This response submitted by another critic on 2/28/00. ( )

Excuse me !
You know people that salting has started before any of our grandparents were alive. If there was a problem don't you think it would have been delt with before this!It seems as though we start caring about bacteria as soon as we discover it. Why don't you just stop with the questions and do it the way it has been passed down for generations!I mean, why are we spending our time thinking about this when we could be inventing a cure for a diesese or somthing.
another critic

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