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putting cape in pickle no salting question

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Ed, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Ed

    Ed Member

    Have any of you self tanners put capes straight into the pickle without salting and what were the results? Ed
  2. I had a guy drop off a very dried out cape last week and I split/fleshed what I could and straight to pickle. It turned out OK but I fought the pH until it was soft enough to finish fleshing the dried out spots and get it shaved

    Sent from my XT907 using Ohub Campfire mobile app

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    All I can ask is "WHY"? What ever logic you used is WRONG. Salt removes the moisture from INSIDE the cell walls and INSIDE the hide itself. Allowing it to air dry or to dump it right into the pickle simply makes the pickle a topical treatment. There's no way for the natural osmosis of the pickle into the inner cellular structure to take place. If a hide is that questionable that you think the salting step takes too long or poses too big a risk, you've already been advised that you should have trashed the hide and saved time AND chemicals.

    The late Glen Conley shared this some years back. I do hope some of you will read and appreciate what Dr. Moodley says:

    Dear Taxidermists
    I have been prompted to add this to the Taxidermy.net forum. I am sure that most of you are aware of most of this, but please read further if you think that this may be of interest to you.

    When an animal is skinned and fleshed in the field, the best way to preserve its skin is to liberally apply rough salt (Sodium Chloride) to it and leave it to dry. Salt acts as a dehydrator and absorbs moisture (or [cytosolic fluid/color]) from the skin ([/epithelialcolor]) cells, markedly speeding up the drying process. It this rapid dehydration of cytosolic fluid that enables the epithelial skin cells to retain much of their intracellular organelles such as nuclei and mitochondria. If skin was simply left out to dry in the sun without the application of salt, then there would be enough time for the degradation of cellular material by proteases and lysozymes housed within the cell. If, on the other hand, the skin dried quickly enough to beat this degradation, the heat required to dry it this quickly would end up causing a similar amount of organelle and structural (cytoskeletal) damage.

    So, you see, there is no getting away from it, salting is the best way to preserve skins in the field. The quality of salt used may sometimes cause problems with the quality of the skins after tanning and it is always important that your clients make sure that the salt they use is first grade.

    From a DNA perspective, dry-salted skin harbours a gold mine of epithelial skin cells, each with more or less intact nuclei and mitochondria - the two organelles that harbour all our DNA. This is why we require only a small piece of skin for DNA studies. When we receive the skin piece we incubate it in an isotonic solution with 1% sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) and about 200ug/ml of proteinase. SDS is a powerful detergent which lyses the cell membrane which is made of fats or lipids. Then the proteinase chomps up the proteins of the cell indiscriminately, releasing the DNA molecules from the nucleus and mitochondria.

    We then apply phenol to get rid of the protein debris and separate these from the aqueous liquid which should by now contain just the DNA in solution. It is as simple as that!

    Every now and then we receive pieces of skin from animals that have died in the veld and have decomposed naturally. The hard skin, with cells completely degraded, may still house DNA, but without the protection of the cytoskeleton and the nucleus, this DNA has been broken up into very small pieces by the action of UV radiation from the sun. Luckily technology is of such a standard these days that we can even make use of this degraded DNA in genetics, although much more effort must be applied in order to get these samples to work in the lab.

    The most tragic element of taxidermy and museum curation is the tanning of skins. When this happens, the cellular and biological elements of the epithelial cells are replaced by chemical ones. The skin is virtually DNA free and is useless for any genetic or forensic investigations. It is unfortunate that tanned skins look and feel so much nicer than dry-salted ones and I do not blame taxidermists one bit for preferring to work with skins in this form.

    I thank you for reading through this and hope that it has been of some help.

    Yoshan Moodley
    Cardiff University

    I have a number of skin micro photography photographs floating around in here. Thing is, I have no idea as to where they are all at. I tend to respond to some of these posts in a spontaneous fashion if I already have the photos on file. There is one that I did remember the title of the thread, and found it using Google's main index.
  4. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Covers the benefits of salting and re-hydration...

  5. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    In previous discussions on this forum many people have said they go straight into the pickle with no ill effects. I think it will work okay, but as was stated, it's not best practice.
  6. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    I personally would not skip the salting process but what comes to my mind right away is the claims of the auto-tanner (Developed by Steve Rotramel (?) and sold by Dan Rinehart (TASCO) these days) that claims you can skip the salting process and have a skin ready to mount in four hours. What would make this so special it would work without salting and still get the excellent results they claim?
  7. I think you should look at the latest data from the tannery lab. Says do not salt dry.
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Lets be honest, it can be done and yes it works. Plain words tanneries do it all the time. Why cause it ok to do it. Yes I do rather to dry it out but to much have been studied and it shows no real bennies if you dry it out. We do cause of space where tanneries have vats all over to deal with raw skins. It will turn out fine.
  9. Monette Taxidermy

    Monette Taxidermy New Member

    A few weeks ago I had an order come in from Pro1. They sent a tanning guide and they say not to salt. I still salt because that is how I was taught and it works, "why fix it if its not broken?"

    Here is some info on this subject from their website.

    To Salt or Not To Salt...
    These reports on the worldwide leather market's efforts on salt reduction do validate that salting is not a requirement
    & does not affect the quality of tanning - that indeed, skins are being tanned immediately from the "green state" for
    global leather - that would be leather for automobiles, clothes, purses, furniture, shoes, sporting goods.

    The key benefit of processing green hides:
    Like blood that flows through the arteries in your body, tanning chemicals transport through "fiber best when it is wide open" - and
    green skin fiber "is the most wide open".
    When hides are salted, the fiber collapses - to rehydrate it for optimal chemical process, the fiber needs to be re-opened to "green skin state" - the primary obstacle with this is that "less dense fiber such as shoulders" will hydrate past green skin state in trying to get the "more dense fiber in the thicker neck, etc." relaxed to green skin state. It is a popular misconception that "hides salted / drained overnight can be rinsed only" & processed
    to the pickle - THE FIBER COLLAPSES SIGNIFICANTLY WITHIN HOURS OF SALTING & IT REQUIRES MORE REHYDRATION THAN REALIZED TO RE-OPEN THE FIBER TO THE POINT OF EFFICIENT CHEMICAL PROCESS - hides that are salted overnight & then rinsed only, are fiber restricted & do not allow for proper chemical transport - the fiber core does not get uniformly pickled, nor tanned. Acidic core is stringent & lacks stretch. Salting is like taking 2 steps backwards, just to try & get 2 steps back forwards - IT IS ONLY A PRESERVATION / CURATION FOR LATER PROCESSING. It pulls out some soluble proteins, but the acid pickle makes up for this small effect by removing all non-tannables, and the degreaser removes the natural oils - pre-salting for tanning, as is validated in the below reports, is absolutely not a requirement.
  10. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Krowtan is done with out salting also. I have pickled and tanned with dry salting and I have done it without dry salting and couldn't tell the difference of the end result.
  11. dbronco

    dbronco Member

    Placing a green hide in a pickle solution that is 43-45% salt (highly hyper-tonic) results in fluid leaving the INSIDE of the cells. The solute in the solution, NaCl, does not cross cell membranes, so for equilibrium to occur, water will move from a higher concentration (inside the cells/hide) to lower concentration (outside cells/hide).
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    dbronco, that's all well and good, but would you mind telling us the positive or negative impact that would have on a hide being tanned. None of us are microbiologists.
  13. . I am...have a bs in bio not quite sure why I do taxidermy......but I do enjoy it ;)
  14. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

    Like I have said many times before, salting skins is for storage of skins and hides if freezing is not a option, green skins and hides can be fleshed and put directly into a pickle, it does not make sense to remove the moisture from the skin, then replace the moisture for the pickle process unless you plan on removing the moisture for STORAGE. I have been putting green skins straight in the pickle for over 40 years, if the skins and hides have been handled properly in the field there is not any neg. effects!
  15. dbronco

    dbronco Member

    By placing a green hide in a hyper-tonic (pickle) solution, many of the "non-tannables", especially water-soluble proteins, leave the cells with the liquid that moves out of the cells and into the pickle solution. This is similar to what occurs during salting hides prior to pickling and eliminates the need to place the hide in a re-hydration bath.
  16. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    If you have paddle vats that agitate the hides you might have a properly tanned hide by the time you are finished. For home "bucket tanners" it is strongly suggested to salt and re-hydrate in a separate step. This allows for more efficient extraction of the glycosaminoglycans. I don't want all that crap in my pickles..
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    LOL Cyclone, we may as well surrender. I mean, after all, the methods we suggested have survived eons but I'm sure the wheel can be reinvented at some point in time. I don't know how long it's been since I salted a hide DRY before beginning the tanning process, but they all got salt. Glen Conley was probably the most brilliant guy I ever met and he said "salt". Bruce Rittel has tanned a few hides and he said "salt". Then there was Hudson, and Patton, and Morgan who tell me to "salt". It may only the feather in Dumbo's trunk but I'm going to stick with it until it falls out. You other guys are on your own.
  18. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

  19. oldboar

    oldboar Taxidermy...do the impossible:)

    I don't for sure....maybe some can pipe up....

    But...I can't believe there is a commercial tannery in the country, that is going to salt dry....then rehydrate a hide....then tan.

    Don't believe it.

    Therefore, don't believe its necessary. Based on my own experience...works fine:)
  20. D.Taximan

    D.Taximan Member

    This is from Sivko Tanners web site
    Shipping and Receiving

    Good preparation on your part helps us provide the best possible tanning for your hunters!


    The process begins with you

    Proper preparation is the key! If you are not using our wholesale service, in order for us to give you the best possible product, we need you to do the following:
    1.Carefully inspect the skin when you get it. You are looking for damage, holes, drag marks, strange odors, and making sure the hair is tight. We strongly urge you to use STOP-ROT on all skins. We are a proud distributor of this product. We use it and so should you! Take the necessary measurements and we recommend that you mark your skins with a punch system or use a small round number tag placed in the ear. These are the best two methods. Avoid metal or wire tags or other tags that may fade or fall off in the tanning process. Don’t worry that your tagging system will interfere with our marking system. We use color combinations of zip ties.
    2.Make sure that the skin is properly scraped and that all tail bones and feet bones are removed, eyes and lips are split, noses and ears are turned.
    3.Proper salting will help eliminate most problems. The cleaner the skin and the better the salting job the better it will turn out and the less money you will spend. To be clear, after the animal is skinned and scraped, it should be placed on a 45 degree angle with a finer grain salt rubbed into the face and any folds of the skin. The salt should be at least ¼ inch thick covering the entire skin. Using a fan will help to dry the skin. Leave to drain at least over night. The next day the salt should be shaken off and the process repeated again at a 45 degree angle with fresh salt. This process should be repeated until the skins are dry. Then fold and box.
    4.When you are ready to ship please completely fill out and enclose our Shipping Form. You can download and print a copy of our shipping form by clicking the link below. Be sure to include the number and type of skins, any special instructions, your return address, phone number, email address and any prepayment. If sending multiple boxes please label them 1 of 2, 2 of 2 and so on. If you have a questionable skin, please call us and let us know in advance or make a special note on your packing list. This way we can work with you and in most cases save the skin with special treatment during tanning.

    Download our Shipping Form here: Download Sivko Fur's Shipping Form here.