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HELP; Wolf face won't stretch

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Wolfus, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Wolfus

    Wolfus Happy Nihilist

    I have this gorgeous wolf pelt. The leather is nice, the body stretches fine, however, I'm having a hard time with the face and nose. It will barely stretch during rehydration. Can anyone offer a solution/mixture that would help stretch stubborn skin?

  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    How was it tanned? What is your rehydration procedure?

  3. Wolfus

    Wolfus Happy Nihilist

    I think it was garment tanned :-\ I have tried salt water
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    How much salt to how much water? Did you let it sweat?
  5. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    How long ago was it tanned? Within a year?
  6. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Couple things you could try. First, try oiling the face really well and sweat in the fridge over night. If that doesn't help, make a gallon solution of water, ammonia sulfate, and borax. Sponge onto the skin side and stretch. (Do this right before you are ready to mount) Keep working this until you get it to relax. Good luck.

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  7. Rhino

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

    Will you please post a pic of the skin side of the pelt.

    You really can't tell much by looking at the hair side. Every thing can look great on the fur side, and the skin not be correctly tanned at all. A pickled skin can have beautiful fur, and not even be tanned at all. You can see skin imperfections, color, grease burn, etc, from the skin side.
  8. Wolfus

    Wolfus Happy Nihilist

    Leather side


  9. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    personally I do the universal method 1/4 oz of salt to a gallon of water and a capful of downey. Soak for 20-30 minutes, drain , bag and in the fridge over night if that wont work do it one more time and it should be fine.

    Now the methods you are being told on FB page is going to give you slippage, you don't soak in or put backing soda or washing soda on a tanned cape. It's high pH and can and will cause slippage. Folks do this cause some so called tanned capes weren't neutralized properly. It may work at times but stay away from soaking any tanned capes in those solutions
  10. Rhino

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

    It was barely touched with shaving machine, judging by all the connective tissue left behind. You can see where it was hit a few times, but they were scared of the machine.
    Its hard to tell, but the nose doesn't appear to be split? That in itself, will cause the whole area to be stiff, and not except the tan or oil very well. Looks like 1/3 the chin is missing also, unless its just folded under.

    That skin has spent a lot of time just left hanging by the nose, on some sort of hook or something. It was hung up wet, left to dry, and never oiled, in my opinion. Didn't tan well in that area, lack of oil, and never stretching the nose out, made that mess. The wrinkles made from the hanging, dried in place.

    I would soak the muzzle in a gallon of 90deg(no more) water with 1/3 cup of dawn, if you have no degrease, and 1/4 lb of salt for up to 2 hours, dump that solution, make the same solution again, and let it go 2-3 more hours. Try to keep the solution warm. Repeat if needed. After you soften it, split that nose, if not split, and wash it good by hand in that old solution. The best thing to do, after you get it softened and opened it up, is apply a liberal coat of something like liquitan, Trubond 1000, pro 1, or Mackenzie tan, Rittels tan(paint-on tans-Leave anyone out??LOL), then start working the area after it dries some. It should stay soft after that. The oil in these products should be enough oil, along with re-tanning it. You won't need to neutralize before the tan since you have already soaked the skin in a high pH solution, for a long period.

    I wouldn't wet down the entire skin, without knowing the history of the skin. Wolves are notorious for falling apart if they are not properly tanned. Just out of curiosity, is the tail even split?
    Bob likes this.
  11. trappersteph

    trappersteph now you can have it...

    I'm the one who is actually going to try to get this skin to rehydrate and stretch properly. We have no idea how old the tan is or what type ( it does not "instantly" start to rehydrate on a test area like the belly, so I assume not a syntan). The belly test area did rehydrate fine. I did soak then sweat the muzzle already and it was not stretching much, so I let it dry. I need to be super careful in doing this as the project is very important to my customer. It is a very white arctic wolf. I am attempting to mount the head ( and yes there is little inner lip, but I can deal with that). The ears were turned by whoever prepped the skin originally ( trapper I assume). If the nose won't rehydrate right, I can use an artificial nose. I have tru-bond 2000 and the lubristretch 2000 on hand, as well as other tanning items.

    Oldshaver, the tail is split, the hide seems to be a garment tan, and everything seems good except the muzzle area, and I have not even tried to deal with the paws yet, as they too need rehydrated and mounted.
  12. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    I will guess this wolf was air dried and not salted , the face was not given enough time to relax . The pelt was pushed through the garment
    process with no regard to it being a taxidermy type tan.

    You will be very lucky if it relaxes. Getting a new face from a gray wolf and bleach would be the best way to go.
    The feet and ears will likely have the same problem

    good luck