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 Curl

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by call of the wild, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Hi: I was reading a post here in the tanning section about using 1/2 to 1 lb of salt/gal. of water for pickle, and the guy was talking about hair curl on a cape. I get that sometimes, and thought it was the genetics of the high fence ranch white tail deer on it. Am I doing it to the capes? I also use 1/2 lb. salt to every gallon of water in the pickle. Thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I think youll find youll need a lb per gallon, not less. Salt wont curl hair. Chemical reactions, and slippage will, however. If you use Pro 1 products, give Paul Cales a ring. He will explain it very thoroughly for you.

  3. I do use Pro 1 & Paul is the one that told me to use less! Not all my capes do this, just a few. Do you think it's the breed or something I'm doing wrong?
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    It has happened to me to some degree every once in a while over the years even though my process hadn't changed. It is interesting that I have never had a commercial tan do this, only the home tanned ones and very few and far between.
  5. So is it my process, or the deer? How do I get the hair laid back down. Been home tanning 20 + years.
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    No one seems to know what exactly causes it, however, there are a lot of opinions that seem plausible and interesting. I just use my Pro 1 hide paste as a hair gel and brush it out after the mount is completely dry.
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Some have said it was too hot/acidic of a pickle that can cause the hair follicle to turn in the skin. I don't know for sure. I have had it happen on commercial tanned capes but as of yet not on home tanned.
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Another possibility that has been brought up is raising the pH too fast during the neutralization bath.
  9. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    Call of the wild,
    I do not know Paul Cales, but from what I see you should listen to him. one half pound salt is more than enough to hydrolize the acid.

    Deer hair , like all hair has an outer surface called enamel , if this is damaged by anything the hair can curl
    Since this does not happen to every cape in a certain batch we will have to look at another cause. It most likely is not the process

    I have never seen this on moose, elk and other hollow haired animals , I have only seen this on whitetail deer.

    If the cuticle (the outer surface of the hair) is damaged you will get curl

    there is over 40 molds which have been identified to cause problems in the pickle and Bacteria from body fluids also will damage the hair. This means the damage occurred before your process began . If the damage is from bacteria , it had to happen prior to the pickle because of the low pH
    5 lbs of salt per gallon is use for a saturate solution for brine curing prior to pickle excess salt will not hurt the hair

    Excess salt will hurt the pickle and inhibit the tan reducing the cross linking regardless of the tanning product you are using.

    After over 45 years of commercial tanning both buckskin and hair-on I do not think your process is causing the curl.

    A qualified lab is the only way to find out what is going on and one is not available to home tanners that I know of at an economical price.
    And most home or in shop tanners do not have the experience to make a guess.
  10. Great Posts! Thanks to all. This buck is 7+ years old, high fence. Super heavy horns... Was a breed buck on the high fence ranch. Seems I get this on the bigger older bucks. 23" neck +...but do get some on the smaller ones also, but not all. Native bucks from here do not have it. Thought it might be a genetic trait of these deer. What can I do to lay this hair down now that it is dried?
  11. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Just some thoughts here. I dont mind of Im right or wrong, so please, dont anyone take this in the wrong way.

    First, I dont believe we can introduce enough acid to a pickle to make enough difference. But I really DO believe that the neutralizing COULD be enough of a reaction in some cases. As for the salt, to me less seems better too, but...next time you talk to Paul, ask him what he told ME, lol. Mention raw skin-direct-to-pickle, normal pickle bath and brine cure. Just sayin. As for the hair twisting in the follicle, I always wonder how they all twist the exact same amount, and not randomly either, always in a patch or small area, together but again, the same amount. Plus, some guys have told me to correct me when I think its due to that fast neutralizing, that they have this with bacteria, way before there was any pickle or baking soda. And, I have for sure had hair curl capes come back from tanneries, even the good guys.

    To answer your question wondering if its the particular deer or pen deer...I always tell the story of how a friend lost a deer while chemically immobilizing some. The dart hit it, the deer fought it, and soon went into capture myopathy and dropped dead. We were standing nearby, and decided to roll him over while someone ran to the barn for a skinning knife. When we rolled it, hair fell out of him...in chunks. He hadnt been dead 5 minutes. I know, thats not hair curl, but I think you see where I was going. Theres enough variables to make it hard to pin down. Just MY opinion, so take this for what its worth...I think early season deer with a fat layer will do this if you dont get the cape off and into salt fast. I have had two early bowkills come on the same morning, shot and recovered that morning, hours dead only. One felt dry and almost rubbery, its was fine...the other seems to be more wet, and it had some slippage issues and minor hair lift. Both shot and handled the same way.

    The debate rages on!
  12. Is there a way to lay this hair down at all??? Thanks

    Attached Files:

  13. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    On long or thin haired deer, it will with pro 1 glue, hair gell or screen. On short hair, or tight hair, Ive never had any success short of coating it with a clear matte material that soaked the hair before it hardened...even then, I didnt like the appearance.
  14. This method works well.
  15. Thanks. I do have Pro 1 glue. Just rub it on the dry curls, and lay flat and let dry? Brush it out with steel brush?
  16. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A very wise philosopher once said something so profound that I can pretty much sum most of life up, even hair curl, in these wise words; Life is just one damn thing after the other.
  17. yes, thats right