1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Stretching/breaking Hides For Both Traditional And Soft/rug Mounts? Deformed And Distorted Shape?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by notbuffalobill, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. notbuffalobill

    notbuffalobill New Member

    Hi there! beginner question here. I have a few questions about stretching and breaking hides. I want to understand more about breaking and stretching. Never done taxidermy before. I am at the tanning stage. I just want to ask a question about stretching and breaking hides and shape distortion.

    For traditional mounts:
    1. are hides stretched/broken before mounted onto a mannekin? If I read correctly, it seems hides can sometimes shrink during tanning process (not sure if I read right).
    2. if they are stretched and broken, how much are they before they will be distorted and out of proportion? until it is white. I'd imagine since it is for a mount, it doesn't need to be stretched to the point of white?
    For soft/rug mounts:
    1. for both rug and soft mount, is the head and face at all stretched/broken? I saw a tutorial on a coyote rug on youtube that showed the head being broken and softened along with the rest of the hide. Doesn't this distort facial details, since stretching would deform the original shape of the hide?
    2. since soft-mount is pretty much a rug, the hide would be softened from breaking and stretching. I have a question about arms and legs. Do you stretch and break them for soft mounts? I would imagine stretching and breaking them would make the arms and legs look too large and wide. It would be deformed and much larger size than the original size of the animal.
    3. since the hide is stretched and broken like a rug for soft mounts, doesn't this mean that the anatomy and proportions of the hide is no longer accurate?
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Breaking a hide is for the purpose of softening and keeping it soft when dry , not mounting on a form/manikin. A hide/cape has to be wet on a standard mount . If you wet a soften hide then mount it , it will be a little stiff when dry , not rock hard but stiff . After you flesh and tan a cape to be mounted it will shrink a little thru the process but is easily just stretched back out to normal size if tanned correctly, it won’t go to the white stage as you speak of as it’s wet and not broke to be soft . Hope this helps .

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    More direct
    1 no , wet tanned and mounted
    2 stretching till white is a falsify as most tan will dry white. It’s the oiling process than makes it tanish color.
    Soft tanning for soft mounts
    1 folks aren’t really concerned about distorting only for what it’s being used for while others will mount the head and do that part wet as the rest gets softened up.
    2 yes they get stretched and soften for a rug. As of distorting it that’s kind of hard per say as it’s hard to make skin that distorted. It’s easier to distort a wet tan on a mount than one that is being dried and softened
    3 on soft mounts anatomy has no bearing as it portrays a different style of mounting. some soft mounts used in taxidermy to show death should be anatomically incorrect since it’s dead and should be portrayed this way.
  4. notbuffalobill

    notbuffalobill New Member

    Thanks for clarifying! That makes a lot of sense.

    This gives me a few ideas for a few projects.
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.