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Rehydration solution for bear hides (unknown tannery)

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by justin_b, May 16, 2009.

  1. justin_b

    justin_b Just sayin...

    423
    1
    WI
    What is the safest rehydration solution to mix for tanned hides that are from an unknown tannery? I have a customer that brought me two hides, since the other taxidermist sat on them for 6 years and wasn't doing anything with them. They are professionally shaved and tanned (the tanned leather has a yellowish tint to it - especially the lip skin.

    What would would be the safest rehydration mixture to use to get these rehydrated and sweated, to see if they are still any good?
     
  2. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    This doesnt "copy and paste" well - but its a tried and true method!



    UNIVERSAL TANNED CAPE OR LIFESIZE SKIN RELAXING METHOD


    This method is called the Universal method because it works on almost every tanned skin or cape safely. It takes the guesswork out of properly relaxing a skin or cape before mounting, but more importantly, it also prevents acid swelling. Bacteriacide is not needed for this method.

    1. Soak the tanned skin or cape for 30 minutes in a mild salt solution using:
    To every 1 Gallon of Water used, add a
    Handful of Salt (4 Ozs. by weight).
    2. Remove the skin or cape from the solution soaking wet, and place it in a plastic garbage bag. The skin or cape will not be relaxed, simply wet from the Salt solution. Use a tie to twist it shut, and then refrigerate it overnight. Do not freeze.
    3. The next day, the skin or cape should be fully relaxed, so remove, and prep it before mounting.
     

  3. justin_b

    justin_b Just sayin...

    423
    1
    WI
    Thanks Bruce.
     
  4. justin_b

    justin_b Just sayin...

    423
    1
    WI
    Well - I got my 1st experience dealing with acid rot. It's too bad - two very nice black bears ruined. The customer brought me these after a (so called) taxidermist tanned, then did nothing with these bears for over six years. It wasn't a money issue - they had paid their part and what not..very honest customers. (Father and Son)

    I rehydrated just the face of one of the bears for 30 minutes...grabbed a piece of extra lip skin, and it tore like a wet piece of paper (with little effort). I then grabbed the skin on the underside of the head, on the incision line - same thing, tears like wet paper. Just left a message with the customer to tell him that him and his fathers hides are shot.
     
  5. Steve Rotramel

    Steve Rotramel We got some radical rebels in this county!

    Ouch! Sorry to hear that.

    Had a similar experience with a polar bear. The bear looked beautiful - perfect condition tan. BUT it had sat in storage in Canada for 14 years waiting for the import law to change.

    I tried to talk the customer out of mounting it, but not hard enough I guess. Plus I really wanted to mount it - never done a polar bear. I did make it perfectly clear the bear could be a total loss (even though I didn't completely believe it).

    Then, I stupidly soaked the whole thing at once. The disaster was very visible and instantaneous. It wilted like a flower thrown in a fire.

    I laid it out and tried to keep it flat while it dried. It was about 2/3 the original size, stiff and brittle when I sent it back.