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how do you know when a hide or skin is tanned?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by samacdon, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Something I have been wondering for awhile now. Just how do people know when a hide is actually tanned. In my very limited experience I have noticed that once a hide comes out of the pickle and is shaved down. It very much looks the same when i finish the brush on tan and rinse it off. I can't tell the difference by looking at them so just how do you guys and gals tell? I have been doing the "fingernail test" as well as cutting the hide to see if the strata has been effected, but are there any other ways?
  2. hunterray2002

    hunterray2002 http://www.finandfoto.com

    Bruce Rittle would be an awesome guy to answer this. Give him a shout.

  3. it depends on what tanning/pickle formula you use...for instance in Krowtann it turns the skin bone white, so you know it is done...some others do as well a formula called Dixie-tan did the same thing and it was a brush on tan
  4. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    Bone white huh? A straight pickle will do that.
  5. Without sending it to some kind of a lab you can't tell 100%. Like Harley said, a pickled skin will look the same all the way through. Even though the pickled and tanned skin are both white, there is a different feel to it, but that's still not a guarantee. Different tans "curl" at different temperatures during a boil test you can do yourself, beyond that the best way to tell is how it holds up over time.
  6. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    any details on that curl test you can give us Keith? what thickness of hide? what temps should a "good tan" reach before it starts to curl. Is that for soft tanned leather or a piece that was allowed to dry hard?
  7. It's nothing a taxidermist needs to worry about. The leather people are the only ones with a real concern, mostly because of the heat needed to dye skins. Different types of tans have different points where they will curl when being heated, chrome is at the high end of the range so it's great for dyeing the leather. The temp is high enough on all tans that it's not going to effect mounts unless somebody decides to cook it for some strange reason.