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Giraffe Cape Tanning

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by falco, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. falco

    falco Trapping is fun

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    I was talking to a commercial Tannery and they were telling me that Giraffe cape might get a bit of slippage (if the Tannery doesnt have the experience with them) after the tanning and thats due to the skin being SO THICK. he said that they have figured out what to do to stop it, but if a Tannery that doesnt have much experience, the slippage is a done deal.
    Have any of you guys heard such a thing.
    and this is a BIG Tanning operation in the States that told me that.
    thanks.
     
  2. Yes, I've heard sales pitches before!

    Giraffe capes are hard to handle because of the weight, the older the bull the thicker the skin, the more likely there could be slippage, but, the slippage doesn't occur "after" the tanning, much of it depends on how the skin was handled in Africa. Nobody has a magic bullet that will reset hair that has already let loose.
     

  3. retiredfulltimer

    retiredfulltimer New Member

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    Giraffes are thick! they need to be thinned substantially prior to salting. Some operations brine them during the thinning process to help set the hair. I watched one group in Namibia do this on a telephone pole with a draw knife. And they didn't cut a single hole, impressive. Most of the slippage depends on how the giraffe is handled after the kill. The best deal is to have the person thinning the skin on call when it is shot so it can be handled immediately. Additionally the salt used in many of these locals comes in large rocks that must be busted up with a mallet to be used so it is not very fine grain.
     
  4. falco

    falco Trapping is fun

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    so basically its the matter of luck, becuase I have no clue how its been handled in Africa, and what is coming out of the Tannery.
    Thanks
     
  5. Rush

    Rush New Member

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    Any good tannery should be able to tell if its gonna "slip" once it comes outta rehydration? You shouldn't be hearing "your hide has slipped" after its been tanned. You would think for as many times it will be handled up to the point of tanning that someone should notice that it has "slippage".
     
  6. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    I feel like I am walking on egg shells, these days. :-\ :D

    This is just my opinion, and I am NOT saying anyone else is wrong, in any way.

    IN MY OPINION, a giraffe skin is VERY easy to slip, no matter how it was handled in Africa. If it was not handled properly, then of course, it will slip in a big way, with large areas losing hair.

    I pretty much agree with what the tannery told Falco. Conventional rehydration, and pickle formulas, will not produce a giraffe cape with all the hair still intact, especially in the face and throat, even if it was handled perfectly in Africa.

    Think about how thick that skin is, and how long it takes the salt to completely remove the moisture from the skin! The skin structure is also very tight. You automatically have one strike against you, before you even attempt tanning the thing. I have seen a few, scored in the shoulders, bet never have I seen a cape that was thinned in its raw state.

    For this reason, a giraffe skin cant handle much of a rehydration bath at all! They just slip too easily, and more often than not, they wont start slipping until after they have been handled some, and during the pickle.

    Falco, I do think it is a little more than luck though. African, in general, is not something that you see slip very often. Its just this ONE skin, and a few others, that require a little special "know how".

    Just my opinion. ::)
     
  7. Rush

    Rush New Member

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    I'm talking about all hides. I get to many calls from people telling me that they had their hide tanned by so n so and it has "slippage" but it wasn't discovered until after it was tanned or just as it was being sent back. My openion is "that's way to late in the game for slippage".
     
  8. Tannertroop

    Tannertroop Member

    Just curious. How thick is a giraffe hide. Does it compare to elk or other north American hides? Sometimes I have some slippage on thick axis hides but not on whitetails or other animals using the same process. I wasn't sure if the thickness was a factor or not.
     
  9. Shoulders on giraffe will be about an inch thick, neck and face thinner.

    If somebody's traditional re-hydration method won't work on a giraffe, maybe they need to learn a better method of re-hydration.

    Handling in Africa makes a huge difference on a giraffe, if it has been thinned like full timer says, they are pretty simple. If the shoulders are left real thick the tannery needs to make the call as to when to pull it from re-hydration, and finish soaking the shoulders in the pickle, degreaser etc. Slippage from Africa will be evident as soon as the skin begins to relax, how to proceed at that point is where experience comes into play.
     
  10. Rush

    Rush New Member

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    Ive seen leather on american bison up to an inch thick, but its a denser leather, the fibers aren't as tight as compaired to a giraffe. I would rather shave a bison than a giraffe.
     
  11. falco

    falco Trapping is fun

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    All you said is interesting to hear.
    Well, I spoke to the Owner and he confirmed that he used one of the oldest in Business and one one of the most famous outfitters in Zimbabwe, I didnt ask who , because didnt matter to me, and he said he has no doubt that the Giraffe cape has been handled the best way possible.,, but you know, thats probably what he has been told too.
    I Got the giraffe cape salted. and the salted cape was in a big carton box that weight about 120 pounds.
    The Tannery I spoke with said:
    Giraffes are tough to avoid slippage, but they have figured out a different way of rehydration that pretty much sets the hair but the cape will lose a bit of stretch, .
    and i dont know if that was a sales pitch or being honest... I didnt sense it being a sales pitch.
     
  12. Rush

    Rush New Member

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    They might be tanning it first, avoiding the rehydration process and the degreaseing process, and if those two steps are avoided you will lose stretch, but they will still be getting their full price for tanning your giraffe. Sounds to me like you might be getting a sales pitch.
     
  13. falco

    falco Trapping is fun

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    93
    Well, I think we will see.
    I am a first timer client to them and they usually try to leave a good experience , otherwise they wont get any more business I guess.
    But Curious about what you said,,, Not knowing too much about commercial tanning,, what do you mean about tanning it first ? I thought they need to rehydrate it to make it soft before they can tan it, other wise ... ???
     
  14. Alij

    Alij New Member

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    Hi Guys I need some quick advise, I am a first time hunter and first time customer

    Issue: This April my son and I went hunting in South Africa for the first time. Arranged with the Taxidermist to have everything in US by end of December. As late as end of October everything was going fine. I just received an email from the taxidermist saying that "giraffe back skins takes a LONG time.. and it wont be ready till sometime next year..."

    My questions are as follows: He claims to have send the skins to tannery in May. Does it really take this long? and how can he mount the Giraffe Neck if rest of the skin has not been tanned?

    Does it make sense to get what I can now and get the back skin when it is ready?

    Costs What would be the cost of additional shipping to Baltimore? and how should we resolve the additional cost. Especially since we had agreed on a specific delivery time frame

    Options Do I have any ?? please suggest
     
  15. If you chose to have the taxidermy done in Africa, you made a big mistake. Live and learn.
     
  16. Does not sound like a sales pitch to me at all, I have lived in a very hot climate for a quite a while and the tannery I used, had a similar method to avoid slippage. Imaging working with skins when temperatures are over 110º F, you better have a good plan if you want to keep the hair on.
     
  17. Alij

    Alij New Member

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    Lesson learned, hence the questions. Any suggestions on how to deal with it??
     
  18. Alij

    Alij New Member

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    Actually I got the trophies over the new year's break. They look pretty nice to my untrained eye, except for the Lion mount, which I swapped out with a more realistic looking rock. Now just waiting for the back skins. Hopefully sometime soon :)
     
  19. hooded12

    hooded12 New Member

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    here is the thing it is the bacteria of rotting flesh that starts the hair slipage so cure the flesh before it rotts using a meat curing agent along with the salt needs to have a high msg content put in a refrigerator for a few days inbetween 30 to 35 degrees and alow the meat to cure and it will slow the rotting process if you cant get the meat off qwickly cure it first