1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Hair slipping on deer capes

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by woakley144, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. woakley144

    woakley144 Active Member

    I have tanned all my hides this year (about 14). The last 3 I have mounted the hair has slipped. I am using safety acid and salt for the pickle. keeping the pH 1-2 and the salt at about 40%. I flesh and salt the capes for about 12 hours, then rinse and put in the pickle. keep the pickle at 1-2 pH for three days then drain and thin the capes. Put them back in the pickle for another 24 hrs then neutralize the hides and tanning oil on the capes, (using McKenzie Tan) then put the hides in the freezer until I'm ready to mount. I then rinse the tan off the capes, drain and mount.

    WHAT AM I DOING WRONG! I have done this on all my hides and the last 3 have had major slippage. I researched under tanning on the site and didn't find what I was doing wrong.

    I read that if I leave them alone until they dry the hair should set, but these are customer capes and I don't want to have to replace the rest of my capes.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    First off we have no idea on the condition of the capes as to how long they were in the elements taken care of prior to you getting them and how long you had them to what you had to do to take care of them?

    I would change a few things here as to why are you fleshing and salting for 12 hours and rinse and placing them in a pickle. With that method the capes are not fully hydrated and they should be soaked longer to open up the pours so the pickle will work faster. It would be wiser to either let them salt dry and then fully hydrate them or after you flesh them, rinse them in cool water to get the cape clean and then get them right into the pickle.

    You didn't say how you neutralize them as to the steps and how much sodium bicarbonate or if you used salt in the solution and where they shocked to the solution all at once or did you add the sodium bicarbonate at different time. ( some times shocking a hide in a pure solution may cause slippage)

    Next I'm not a fan to any rub on tans that need mixing. Their are unstable tans and if not properly mix can cause issues with capes. The best rub on tan is Liqua-tan (been around for ages and with stand the time, then you have tru-bond followed by pro-1 which needs a bit if a shake). Your best tans are those you soak the hide in. You know for sure they are tanned through both sides.

    Now this could be a major reason why your capes are slipping. Are you capes pretty wet when you freeze them? If they are, that will cause slippage big time, What happens is the epidermis gets soaked with water and cause slippage. 99% of the time it's not the tan that cause slippage it's steps we miss or the way it's taken care of.

    Hope this aids you in finding a solution to your capes slippage.
    Lance.G likes this.

  3. Dcdeerhunter

    Dcdeerhunter New Member

    Why would freezing the capes wet cause slippage? I had 2 slip this morning and I am thankful they are my own. But it is coming off with a small layer of skin. Is it because I froze them wet. If so what's the best way to dry before freezing thanks.
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    To the best of my knowledge, bagging and freezing very wet capes is what causes this. I was having this issue with a very well known tannery in my region. They chose not to acknowledge any wrong doing so I went searching elsewhere and contacted some of the known and unknown pros in the tanning world and this was the one of the things most of them suggested was the cause. McKenzie tan works just fine, if directions are followed and a few extra precautions are incorporated. My first suggestion is to salt dry your skins, they don't have to be flint dried but well dried and pretty stiff then rehydrate following directions. Once fully rehydrated I wash em and then remove as much water from the hair as I can, I spin em in a washing machine, then into the pickle. Remove drip dry after 3 days in pickle stirring occasionally, shave, put back in pickle for a day or more, neutralize, drip dry, spin em out in washer again, insert towel on skin side and wrap em up in another towel, let em sit for a while. Apply tan, roll em up skin to skin and set em aside in a cool place for the night. The next morning rinse em off, spin em again and then hang up for the day, at the end of the day bag em and freeze em or the next day do all prep and then I wash em with laundry detergent and then hang em to drip after spinning em, either mount em later that day or bag em and freeze. This is my routine and it works for me. The moral of the story is the skin should be damp but the hair should be pretty dry prior to freezing.
    woakley144 likes this.
  5. Dcdeerhunter

    Dcdeerhunter New Member

    Ok thank you this may be my whole problem.
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I had this problem before and Frank set me straight on it. Dried the skin until damp and dry the hair even more and the problem went away.
    woakley144 and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  7. Are you over neutralizing them? Take the cape out of the pickle add just a little sodium bicarb, test the pH, It takes very little sodium bicarb to neutralize a lot of pickle. Then place the cape into the pickle once you have the cape at about 5.0 it does not a long soak either!!
  8. 15pt

    15pt Active Member

    For what's it's worth every hide I have come in gets pressure washed then soaked In a mix of lysol concentrate and denatured alcohol for a few hours before any pickling, tanning or anything else. I havnt lost a hide in a long while. This may sound crazy, but works for me.
  9. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Me and Frank had this conversation, I was using a paint on tan and leave them lay around or freeze them wet thinking the tan would set the hair ,,I kept getting hair slippage ,the next cape I'm going to put in the dryer on cool and tumble with a load of towels ,I bet the problem goes away.