So I'm extremely new to the world of taxidermy, pelts and furs. I wanted to buy a coyote pelt so that I could use the fur to replace some faux fur on a winter parka. I've done this before with a fox pelt from a big name company. This time I thought I'd support local. I bought this tanned coyote pelt for $150CAD from a local taxidermist that said the pelt was tanned and prepped for taxidermy. When I picked it up it was so full of sawdust that you couldn't touch it without dust puffing out of it. She told me this was a normal part of the tanning process and should come out as you work with it. Once I brought it home I cut open the belly in order to expose the leather inside. My plan was to cut a rectangular section from the back to use for my jacket. When I opened the pelt up, that's when I noticed the quality of the skin on the inside. It wasn't like my previous fox pelt which was soft and smooth. This texture is uneven and flakey. I also noticed it has multiple holes that weren't visible when the pelt was whole. The taxidermist told me that this is a taxidermy grade pelt and wasn't intended for garment use. I wasn't aware there was a difference. The pelt smells a bit like chemicals and has saw dust imbedded deep in the fur. The fur is also extremely matted/knotted in some spots. The fur is gritty and feels dirty. She told me to use a dog brush to remove the knots and use a damp cloth to get rid of dust. My questions for the professionals: is this normal when buying a pelt? Is this how the 'end product' of a tanned pelt should be? How do I soften the leather? How do I clean the fur without damaging the leather? how do I get mattes and knots out without damaging the fur? Any help is greatly appreciated. If it isn't obvious already, I have no idea what I'm doing.