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Purpose of Pickling?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Greenhorn2, May 13, 2016.

  1. Greenhorn2

    Greenhorn2 New Member

    After the skin has been pickled, at that point is it in a state of preservation? For instance with McKenzie tan the next step after pickling and neutralizing would be appyling the tanning oil. Is that oil for preservation or for creating a hide that is supple and can be softened?
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Hey greenhorn welcome and to answer about oil is two fold, to aid in shrinkage and also to make a subtle hide.

    You can find a lot about this in the archives if you just type in what your looking for, Sometimes it's hardtop find and if so that's why were here.

    Yes after the pickle, it is in a preserved state, till it's neutralized and tanned. Never let a pickle hide dry hard if anything always keep in the pickle or freeze it till you can work on it.

  3. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

    Pickling of the skin does a couple things, changes the electric charge of the atoms there by setting them up to contract a bond with tanning agents, also separates out the non- collagens and loosens up the crosslinks in the lattice(fibers), in other words opens up the fibers. The oiling process after the tanning agent is applied is to lube the crosslink fibers, so they slide over each other keeping the skins soft and pliable after the breaking process, if not lubed with oil the skin would dry out and the cross link fibers would stick together, making the skin dry out hard and stiff and would crack along with increased shrinkage and no stretch.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Of all the tanning I have done, the ones that are pickled first always come out much better.
  5. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    You haven't done any "tanning" if they weren't pickled first !!!