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Reading material- not for the easily bored

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Rhino, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!


    I realize we are not making leather when Taxidermy tanning, but, you might be surprised how some of the basic principles
    of tanning are still the same. If a few of you understand the majority of this, you will also see the connections I am referring
    to. Cyclone is probably the only regular here that won't have to use a dictionary.? LOL One thing for sure is, you can't help
    but to learn something. A few of those why, how, and when questions will be answered.
  2. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    This Dr. can't be correct. She has the steps in this order:

    Curing (SALTING), Rehydrating, Pickling,Tanning, Shaving, then Neutralizing and Oiling

    This just has to be wrong according to all the tanning experts on this site !!!


  3. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    as a leather tanner and a hair-on tanner I am doing everything I can to make leather with hair on it.

    I have tanned with alum, chrome, oil, syntans , aldahydes, and veg. extracts and not once have I ever neutralized before the tan.
  4. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Ours is fur dressing, not leather making. Read the hofmeister series Cyclone is referring to. You will LOVE THIS Dee!


    Damn I miss Glen!
  5. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    furtanshop, I hate to burst your bubble, but, you have some issues that need correcting.(side groups-hint) http://www.hewit.com/skin_deep/?volume=3&article=3#article

    Dee, I assume you are talking about the LOWERING of the pH required after hair removal? If they didn't do that, the NaOH would continue to dissolve the entire skin.

    This new link I just posted here has a series of quarterly articles called "The manfacture of Leather". Very informative and not quite so technical.
  6. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Extracts from many hundreds of plant species have been shown to have a tanning effect. They contain large poly-phenolic molecules which act by displacing the bound water from the protein and taking up many of the exposed hydrogen bonding sites. These molecules have acidic groups on them which are attracted to, and can form stronger bonds with, the basic side-groups on the protein1, further reducing the bound water. C&P from Skin Deep Volume 3

    Furtanshop, what this is saying in a nut shell is, You need to neutralize BEFORE tanning with aldehydes, syntans, and veg extracts. The ONLY tans you actually tanned anything with, were the aluminum, and the chrome tans. Both of which are attracted to ACIDIC collagen(side groups).
  7. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    OS I was being facetious. You lost me, I have never claimed to be a chemist but I have "NEVER" neutralized between the pickle and the tanning steps unless I was using a paint on tan. Never with submersible tans.

  8. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Sorry, I forgot who I was talking to. I thought that was strange??

    As far as the tanning part of Taxidermy goes, I kinda feel sorry for the young folks that are NEW to the Taxidermy trade. There is such a wide variety of beliefs on the topic, that they probably don't know who to believe, what to use, etc! Being the single MOST IMPORTANT PART of this art, it often amazes me that the tanning of the skin is often left to chance, and is not taken much more serious than the methods is see used on here sometimes!??

    Don't forget to salt Dee, or don't, who cares. Its kinda like telling your Kid how good of a ball player he is, when you know he sucks! As long as he feels good, that's all that matters! Common practice today. Everyone is right, and we should all just love one another!! LOL
  9. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member


    You don't need to salt remember? That is an unnecessary step says several tanning "EXPERTS" !!!

  10. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    D. Price those experts just might be wrong about not salting.

    oldshaver, furdressing is the correct name for tanning furs. I was saying that what I do is tanning leather with hair or fur on it and there is no other way to describe the skin except tanned. I can use alum (no chrome added) and get a washable hide. The last deer hide I tanned this way was washed and dryed in laundry machines with the dryer on normal heat three different times without damage. Now in my mind that is a tanned hide.

    If you remember Dr. Teresa showed different ph ranges for the different types of tanning agents

    I finish my tans on the ph of the skin not the bath using liquid indicators.

    while bucket tanning is necessary for most in house tanners it does have it challenges. As you can tell from all the different post on here,folks using the same product get very different results
  11. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Active Member

    So, is the process of fur dressing not actually producing leather? What proper term would be given to the resulting product of a tanned fur dressed skin if not leather? Guess I'm just a little confused with the terminology.
  12. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    Dave Byrd, I have been commercial tanning since 1961 and it depends on who you are talking to.

    The old taxidermist I tanned for in the seventies, eighties, and ninties all ordered hair-on or buckskin leather not one of them said I want these furdressed

    I also tanned for several small furriers and said they want these coyotes dressed

    Tanneries who just tanned furs for fur garments called themselves furdressers

    IMO , properly tanned hides and skins are leather
    If you have converted the raw skin to tanned fiber , it is leather
  13. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Very good reading material OS.
  14. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    All sarcasm aside, we are not even coming close to making leather. We are tanning skins though.

    In the mfg of leather, they area making an exerted effort to fill the voids in the collagen matrix, and not just tan the collagen itself like we are. To put it in the simplest terms I can, if you fill all the voids, the skin won't stretch as much, if at all, in the case of chrome. In leather, they actually "stack" tans to increase filling.

    I'm not promoting the sale of Trubond here, but When I developed TB 1000, and 1000B I made the ingredients different for the tanning of back skin's for this reason. I designed 1000B to "fill" more , and used a different oil designed to penetrate heavier skins. Why? They both tan a skin? Because your not worried about stretch in back skins. Just softness.(handle)

    I am not trying to insult you furtanshop. I promise. Nothing like that intended. I consider fur dressing to be "what we do",for the most part. We might take it a little further than garment tanning. I'm just pointing out what "real" experts say. That's not me FOR SURE. I know I'm no expert. I'm just a disabled old tannery employee, that has already seen his better days. You very well might be "getting it done" in ways I'm not familiar with. I certainly value your opinion since your in the business.
  15. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Here is an excerpt from the article that OS posted and, although not exactly pertinent to this discussion, it is most definitely due some attention.


    The hide of a live animal contains 62-78% water . Death causes dramatic change in metabolic process O2 and nutriton is cut out, removal of metabolites from the cell is stopped. Toxic accumulation enzyme controlled processes stop .

    The process of self digesting ( autolysis ) of the cells starts intercellular enzymes cathepsins (peptide hydrolases ) .Autolysis does not cause change in flayed hide at r.t. even at 24 hours.

    Autolysis of salted hides depend on temperature and amount of salt . The higher the temperature , the higher the autolytic process . However , the rate decreases with increasing salt concentration.

    Common preservative like boric acid or sodium carbonate do not inhibit autolysis at all.

    The yellow " salt " spots on hide arise from autolytic activity ( not from bacterial activity ) due to effect of alkaline phosphates in presence of calcium sulphate .

    The secondary process accompanying autolysis is action of putrefactive bacteria for which autolysis products offer an excellent medium .
  16. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    oldshaver, no problem here , I consider this a discussion not and argument

    since you don't think we are making leather with hair left on , why do you think the tanned fur is not leather?
  17. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Active Member

    So a tanned skin for taxidermy purposes is just that...a tanned skin and NOT actually leather.
  18. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    So oldshaver, are you saying that leather such as shoe leather or saddle leather is tanned more than say a taxidermy tanned skin? The processes we use does the job needed but, don't add the strength and durability required of the other "leather" products. That would make sense.
  19. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Exactly, Mr. Byrd and 3bears. I couldn't have put it better. I'm not saying that the game skins we tan can not be made into leather, because they can. Some of the finest leather there is, is made from goat skin. I'm just saying, we never need or want to take it that far. ESPECIALLY with skins to be mounted! If you took a deer cape, and "stacked" the tans to it, and filled the voids, no matter how many times you oil that skin, it wont stretch.

    Most of the tans used for Taxidermy tanning, ARE ALL USED in the process of making "true" leather, but these tans would only be considered as one step of the process in a leather mfg tannery. In leather mfg, they make dozens of different types of leather, and each one is purpose specific. Heat resistant, water resistant, upper shoe, sole,nubuk, silicones, waxes, etc. Its a long list.

    Cyclone, are you referring to us fighting more than bacteria after skinning? Salting thing?
  20. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Love it great info as always OS.

    Waiting to hear what the experts are going to agree or disagree DH lol