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Tiger skin repairs - ideas welcome!

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by buckhunter, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. buckhunter

    buckhunter Member

    308
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    UK
    Hello all,
    For those who don't know, I restore antique taxidermy as well as carrying out modern taxidermy. I do a lot of big cat skins and heads. In the latest batch of trophies to come in for restoration, one of the Van Ingen Tiger skins has some issues that I haven't really had to deal with before. The fur has an amazing original colour retained which is so unusual for these skins as they were so often left out on display and quickly faded in the sun. I imagine this one has been stored away since the day it came back from India. Sadly, something got to it while in storage (rodents I suspect) and nibbled the fur in places. There are now several small areas all over lacking hair and 2 or 3 larger areas. What I am wondering is how best do I go about repairing the areas? The small bits are not an immediate concern as they could almost be battle scars, it's the larger bits I am looking to do. My initial thought is to swap out the damaged hide for fresh pieces from a spare skin I have. From my experience, I don't think that the old leather will hold a stitch so it would have to be glued. Favourite method at the moment is using a glue gun and some kind of backing underneath, either hessian or leather, to overlap and reinforce the join. I considered painting the bare areas to blend with the colour of the fur but it just wouldn't look right on the larger areas. Anyway please look at the photos to see what I am up against and let me know if you have any bright ideas!
    Many thanks,
    Patrick
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  2. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    5,573
    71
    Ohio
    Actually, a better choice other than hot glue, is to use contact cement made for leather repairs. You apply a layer to one side, and another layer to whatever you are using to strengthen the hide, let it set dry, then apply the patch to the area being repaired. I use thin suede splits for skin repairs where stitches would either show, or not hold very well. Give it a try. ;)
     

  3. rbear

    rbear Well-Known Member

    I have often wondered about electrostatic flocking gun for spots like that.
    http://www.amazon.com/Gowe-small-electrostatic-flocking-machine/dp/B00JWQBD0Y/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1437169624&sr=8-11&keywords=flocking+gun
    Ralph
     
  4. buckhunter

    buckhunter Member

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    UK
    Sounds like a good idea John, thank you! I will give it a go. Suede sounds ideal as it would be thin and flexible enough so you wouldn't really feel it underneath. Ralph, I have heard of people using a flocking gun on mounts to restore areas of hair loss. I would like to try it some day though I currently do this sort of restoration by hand and am satisfied with the results. I wouldn't be happy doing either my method or using a flocking gun on the skin portion of the rug, for example the repairs we are talking about for this Tiger, as I don't think it would stand up to being folded, moving around and walked on as much as putting a whole new piece of hide in its place. As I said though, it works great for solid mounts with a form underneath. Time to order some contact cement. Any particular brand to be recommended? Bear in mind it must be available in the UK ;)
    Thanks again for the replies chaps, much appreciated.
     
  5. The damage might be carpet beetles looking at the photos,just be aware you still might louse some fur.
     
  6. buckhunter

    buckhunter Member

    308
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    UK
    Could well be magicmike. I think the damage is quite historic and all the remaining hair seems fine. Whatever did it is long gone. I went ahead and purchased some pig suede and some contact cement (Tanners craftsman I think). Will update this thread as I make progress. Cheers
     
  7. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Barges cement.
     
  8. buckhunter

    buckhunter Member

    308
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    UK
    UPDATE
    I ended up with a water based leather contact cement from a company over here. It's called Eco-weld. I have swapped the bad patch on the paw for a fresh piece. The bond appears to be holding well and is flexible. I used the method that you suggested John and backed the joins with strips of suede. So far so good. The fresh piece was from a faded skin so needed to be coloured to match as well. I am pretty pleased with it.
    Reminder of what it was like..
    [​IMG]
    And the repair..
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  9. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    5,573
    71
    Ohio
    SWEET!
     
  10. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    it came out great
     
  11. buckhunter

    buckhunter Member

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    0
    UK
    Cheers guys.Will be sure to update once I've done the other bits.
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    This is a helpful post Buckhunter. Any way you can salvage your pictures from Photobucket and put them back?
     
    Texasaaa likes this.