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Bear Rug Question

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by aventura, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. aventura

    aventura New Member

    Hi All,

    I have a wet tanned black bear hide I picked up from my Granny's freezer, she was holding it for a friend that decided to forgo a shoulder mount project. I want to make it into a rug. I'm looking for some guidance as this will be my first time.

    From what I understand a wet tan is the same as a dry tan except it hasn't dried yet. My issue now is that the hide was cut in half. So I'm wondering how I should go about stretching and drying the hide? Do I dry the two halves separately and sew them together afterwards OR sew them together wet and dry them? I also have a general question: once the hide is dried how should I treat the underside (leather side)? I don't want to put fabric underneath and I'll be laying the rug on the floor.

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    You need to oil it and then stretch it out, work it, to break and soften the hide, otherwise it will dry out as hard as a rock. It’s going to require a lot of pulling, scraping stretching, etc to break the hide and that will make it hard to keeps the seam from ripping out. If I were going to try to sew the two back together, I would do it after the hides are oiled and broken. You’re looking at a lot of work. The good news is that if you’re just wanting to lay it out flat, you don’t necessarily have to get it too awfully soft. Good luck with it!

  3. aventura

    aventura New Member

    Thanks Mike!
    What kind of oil would you suggest to use, and should I oil it wet (or damp)? I was also leaning towards working the hide and then sewing it together.
  4. Westcoast

    Westcoast Member

    You should ditch the rug idea and do a half body mount. Sounds like it’s ready to go for that. IMO rugs are kind of a waste.