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Lutan F ?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Yukon254, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Yukon254

    Yukon254 Member

    I've heard that Lutan F will wash out, and should not be used for garments. Is that true? A taxidermist I know uses it exclusively and his stuff turns out very soft. Lutan is the easiest of all the tans to get up here.
  2. cedarhill

    cedarhill Member

    They have synthetic tans that don't wash out, but honestly to wash Lutan out you would have to soak it for days and restart the tanning process. I maybe don't understand why a person might wash tanned furs anyway but its a good tan

  3. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know the story behind how Lutan F was started? Apparently the Germans after WWI were shut off from certain chemical(s) via sanctions so the Germans figured out another way to tan.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    That is interesting.. I bet Paul Cales with Pro 1 could answer this question..
  5. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    The Shrinkage Temperature of Lutan F as a Taxidermy Tannage is out of the range of Alum, and a good choice for Taxidermy – but yes, I wouldn’t want it used for clothing or Linings where it could be exposed to multiple washings, especially at high Temperatures!

    You’re actually referring to what Tanners refer to as the Shrinkage Temperature of a Skin or Cape (They refer to it as a Tan’s Ts when they talk about it). The Shrinkage Temperature associated with a particular Tannage such as Lutan F determines the Temperature it can withstand as the temperature is slowly raised when the sample of Tanned skin is subjected by heating it’s Water until the Sample chemically and physically breaks down and the sample becomes Dark and usually shrunken.(Hence the Shrink Temperature Name).

    I was fortunate. I worked as a sideline for Sentry Chemicals and servicing their New England Accounts. I got to talk to people using different Tanning Agents in their Tanneries. They sent me to their 3 day BASF Lab in Rensselaer, NY to familiarize my self with their BASF product line. But – they also had a Lab setup there where they actually tested samples sent in by their customers that they would also Shrinkage Test them using a 2” X 2” Sample (with Toggles attached) in a small Aquarium like Vat. This allowed them to submerge the Samples into the small Tank of Water and then slowly raise the Samples temperature and determine where it’s chemically bonding finally could not bond to the Skin Fibers anymore. They did this to Chrome, Lutan F and Syntans too! I was fascinated by the results!


    Normal Residential Hot Water settings are usually set at 120 Degrees Fahrenheit (equal to 48 Degrees Celsius or lower).

    Setting Residential Hot Water above 120 Degrees Fahrenheit (equal to 48 Degrees Celsius) to 140 Degrees Fahrenheit (60 Degrees Celsius) is considered Scalding Water to Humans.

    Considering that Hospitals and Medical people love to work with Sterilized materials, the Shrinkage Temperature is extremely important to them. And, of course the products have to be sterilized every time they want to reuse them. Hospitals use a lot of Sheepskins for raising the body of their Patient from their Beds so that he or she do not develop “Bed Sores” over time spent bed ridden. But they must be sterilized after each use, before they are passed on to the next intended patient. Consequently when the Sheepskin is Tanned they usually always prefer a Chrome Tanned skin. And sometimes Tanners will slightly Retan it using a special Syntan to raise the Ts even higher by 5 to 10 Ts.

    Obviously me and others like us in Taxidermy, or even Tanning, do not intend to ever work with materials.like this that have such a high Ts – but it is a good way to qualify the Tanning Quality of the various Agents.

    As an example, when I worked in Alaska for the government building a Tannery for the Inuit Eskimos there, they used to tell me that Wolverine Fur was the best choice of Fur to use to line a Man or Woman’s Hood or Parki, or even the inside of their whole coat – simply because the fur - they claimed - it never Froze! And up there the temperatures were 30 Degrees (Fahrenheit) below 0 for 3 months (November to January and maybe even February too) every year! I’m sure the cost of their liners weren’t cheap – but considering the temperatures, very much needed.

    Our Government tried to treat the people up North (14 Miles from the Arctic Circle) descent! Every Village in the area had a High School & Computers, a Shower Room (at a price) where they could go and wash themselves up, and of course they also had a Wash Room available where they could also wash and cleanse their clothing – again, at a price, so it didn’t become a problem. However, can you imagine an Eskimo trying to wash his or her Coat with a Wolverine Hood or Parki Lining in it?

    If the Wolverine fur was tanned with anything besides a Syntan or Chrome – it could be washed out like Alum, or over many washings, slowly washed out like Lutan F. In this situation the Eskimos had to be careful which furs to use for any type of lining, if they intended to also Wash them at their Laundermat. Obviously, they bought Chrome or Syntan skins for clothing use.

    For the typical USA Taxidermist or even Canadien Taxidermist, Lutan F should not be a problem. It’s highly unlikely that the mounts we all do will ever get washed. Once we mount them, and even if they do wash them, they should withstand 5 or 6 Washings and still be “Good to Go”! With no significant loss of Lutan F chemically bonded to the Collagen (skin fibers). I consider it an excellent Taxidermy Tan. However, for Rug Work or a Special Friend, where the tanned piece would lie on a Cabin’s floor all year and exposed to Hot and Cold temperatures, I would want a Syntan or Chrome tanned Rug.

    If you feel like you may have a Cape or Skin that’s been Alum tanned – because of it’s low Shrinkage Temperature, don’t wash them – Dry Clean them instead. Another problem with Alum is it’s longevity or shelf life. After 14-18 years, the Sulphate in it, attracts moisture, even from the atmosphere over time, and the tanned (or Tawwed – a Leather Tanner’s name for the process) sewn skins begins to weaken and literally almost fall apart. The stitches strain, and slippage or breakage occurs. You cant repair them.

    Lutan F doesn’t have this problem. It’s basically Aluminum Chloride and it contains no Sulphate. Likewise, it’s Ts is slightly higher than Alum. I have to guess at what Lutan F’s Ts is rated at, but I assume it’s probably about 130 to 140 Ts. Alums Ts are probably lower, about 115 to 120 Ts.

    To Dry Clean them I recommend you use a Black Plastic Garbage Bag. Half fill it with sawdust and then add some Lacquer Thinner to it until it’s DAMP, not soggy. Tie off the bag and toss it around in your arms – outdoors – not in your Shop, Lacquer Thinner is very flameable - for 10 minutes. Then, untie and place your tanned skins or capes in the Bag. Now – also toss it around in your arms for another 10 minutes. Then remove the skin or cape, shake off the sawdust and blow the skin or cape and it’s fur or hair, until it’s clean and dry.