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Why freeze a tanned hide?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Allie, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Allie

    Allie Member

    I've read repeatedly that, after tanning, you should either mount the hide or freeze it to mount it later. (I've been using Lutan F and Liqua Tan.)
    If the hide has been tanned and is in a stable condition and ready to mount, why can't you just leave it out until later to mount it, instead of freezing it as recommended by many here and by the suppliers of the tan.
  2. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    If you freeze a wet tanned cape all you have to do is thaw it out and mount. If you don't freeze it, it will dry out and become a dry tan that will need to be rehydrated in order to mount.

  3. Allie

    Allie Member

    I guess that seems pretty obvious. Maybe I've been thinking too much. And I suppose I've been letting my hides dry too much. Thanks.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I freeze ALL my tanned hides. Aside from the obvious with wet tans, most tanneries tell you that their tans have a shelf-life of one year. Freezing stops all those chemical aging processes. If you ever get a dry tanned hide that was not properly neutralized, it can "acid rot". You'll not have that worry if it's in the freezer.
  5. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Im halfway with ya George. I too freeze all my commercially tanned stuff when it comes back, and yes, its to save that shelf life you mentioned. But, I have had capes from two of the larger tanneries fall apart due to acid rot, and yes, they were stored in the freezer. Its best to mount fresh tan, and not stock pile tanned goods if you cannot mount them shortly. Good tanneries will work with you on schedules...
  6. Allie

    Allie Member

    I'm still a little confused... what's the difference between wrapping them around a form and leaving them sitting around on a shelf? Shouldn't they have the same "shelf" life? Does being part of a recreated critter make them feel more permanent? Or wanted? I suppose that's what we all want, to feel wanted.
    As I mentioned earlier, the suppliers for Lutan F and Liqua Tan say to either mount them up or freeze them. But you still have to rehydrate them after freezing, regardless of if it was dry or wet tanned, no?
    Please clarify, I'll appreciate it.
  7. If you mount it you are not going to rehydrate the skin. Acid rot becomes active when rehydrated.
  8. And as Bill said they can and will acid rot in a freezer if wet tanned. I have a worthless 3000 dollar LS Persian Ibex in the freezer now.
  9. Personally I store all of my tanned hides in the frozen state as does a very well known taxi aquaintance of mine but on the other side another friend tans for 4 months of the year , dries all of them then mounts for 6 months and guides for 6wks ! I have seen 2 fruit bins full of dried tanned hides in his work shop so he does quite a few . If lutan f or another aluminium chloride tan is used correctly you shouldnt get acid rot ! ( search for basifying AFTER tanning ) skins tanned like this will keep either froze or dry.
  10. gab

    gab Active Member

    mold could also be an issue
  11. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    It appears an explanation is in order. I for one addressed acid rot only because it was brought up, and I felt the need to warn others not to trust a skin as not acid rotting once in a frozen state as stable. But thats not what I was saying about storing tanned hide.

    I store all tanned skins in the freezer to protect them from possible bug damage and to prolong shelf life. Now what I am calling shelf life is not the life of the skin as per se. To me shelf life is the freshness and workability of the leather for me as a taxidermist. I want to mount that skin and have it react as close to real as possible, not to stiffen or lose stretch over time. Most tans will, in fairness to even the best tans. A good tan will stay flexible, feel nice, and hold together just fine over the years. But as far as detailing, to have stretch with some memory, and strength for the mounting process, THATS what I trying to protect and prolong by freezing.

    I hope that helps anyone who wasnt sure.
  12. dktaxidermy

    dktaxidermy I'm on top of the dirt; how bad can it be?

    O.K. Bill now i'm confused. i have a "dry" tanned antelope cape that i have had for about a year. in order to mount it do i need to "rehydrate" it? or just get a smaller form and mount it dry? when i got it i was told it did NOT need to be frozen. please explain just a tiny bit more if you don't mind.


  13. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I dont know how to say this delicately or not make you feel foolish...we were talking about storing tanned stuff, not rehydrating before mounting. I get tanned skins from the tanner dry and also wet tanned. Dry gets soaked up and checked and sized, then frozen till used. Wet tans get wetted with a sprayer as needed, checked and measured, and also frozen till used. As for a dry leather and being told it doesnt need to be stored in the freezer...I just would anyway, if I wasnt mounting it right away. So to answer you then, yes youd need to soak a dry skin to rehydrate it for mounting. Hopefully I understood what you were asking !
  14. bearrug48

    bearrug48 Active Member

    hope you get that all sorted out.