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Wet Verses Dry Tan

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by jimss, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. jimss

    jimss Active Member

    I'm new to mounting heads and will likely be sending my capes/skins out to be tanned. I was wonderinq which tanning method (wet vs dry) everyone uses and what are the advantages/disadvantage of each?
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Wet, you can typically get them back quicker, don't need complete rehydration, shipping will cost a little more for wet. It is recommended to rehydrate and freeze, or just freeze, dry tanned skins, so you don't save freezer space. I like dry tanned on furry critters such as bears, cats and k9s. the finishing in the tumblers with whatever they add to them helps bring out the softness and shine in the fur, wet tan on anything else.
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.

  3. vic h

    vic h Active Member

    3 bears about summed it up. I'd go with what he said.
  4. jimss

    jimss Active Member

    Thanks for the great comments! What about the ease of mounting and the quality of product? Does one have a smoother look with skin and hair? Is there differences in ease of sewing/hiding seams, tucking lips, ears, eyes, etc.? Do both hold up similarly after years on the wall to bugs and time?
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ok to mount any animal you need to either use a wet tan or hydrate a dry tan do it becomes a wet tan.
    Wet tans give you the stretch you need to sew . Doing a dry is no good for mounting. You can’t do a thing with it. Dry tan is good for wall hangers.
    Being a home tanner per say I do all wet tans for my work that needs mounting. The only time I do a dry tan is for a wall hanger.
    As for holding up, you’ll have to look into the type of tan the tannery is using. Synthetics last a long time where their great for wall hangers plus mounting.
    Alum tans are good for mounts, stretch great but like to shrink up cause of the alum.
    I do nothing but synthetic tans for all my work as it’s a garment tan with an indefinite shelf life.
    hope this gives you a bit more insight
    aussiesam and MixedupMel like this.
  6. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Once a dry tan is properly rehydrated it reverts to a wet tan, there isn't really any difference then, that i know of or have seen. As I stated you have to rehydrate a dry tan either by sponging water on the skin side or soaking it and then sweating it in a plastic bag for a while, times will very but I usually sweat them over night. I can't say for certain but I don't believe the tanneries tumble wet tan hides with the same additives to produce as soft, and shiny and fluffy fur as they do dry tans. I don't send any thing out that is wet tanned.
    Kenneth Minnich likes this.
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    The ones that had done were oiled and tumbled and came to me soft and about 60 to 70% dry. The hair was dry and the skin was damp. I had to rehydrate for a few minutes and sweat it in a bag for a while to get them ready for mounting.
  8. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I love dry tanned bear. The fur has been brushed, and they shine like new money! I get wet tans on all cervids and other short and straight haired animals.
  9. I use wet tan for all my shoulder mounts. I've noticed on dry tan that holes and cuts tend to get much larger and harder to repair verses the wet tan.
  10. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    Wet tanned for me as well for deer and plains game.
  11. dmac1175

    dmac1175 Active Member

    I hate dry tan for deer with a passion.
    I have only done a couple and possibly I did something wrong in the rehydrate process but I said never again.