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Is This Normal Or Did I Get Ripped Off?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Lynxish, May 19, 2020.

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. Lynxish

    Lynxish New Member

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    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I would have hoped for something a bit cleaner (fur cleaned and free of sawdust) but tanned for taxidermy use basically means it is preserved. It is not finished out, oiled and broken (softened) like most people have in mind when they think of a “tanned” hide. If it was advertised as taxidermy grade, you got what you paid for, but to finish it out and turn it into the type tan you need will require a lot of work, a good tanning oil and some time. Good luck!
     

  3. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

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    Sand paper . Thin the leather side down. Use a vacuum to remove as much dust as you can. Try holding one end of the pelt down on A table with one hand give a good snap with the other hand this may help the fur to stand up. Do that with in reason not to hard
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
    Lynxish likes this.
  4. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Place it in a clothes dryer with a few dry towels on "air dry". No heat. Let it air dry for 30 minutes or so and see if the amount of sawdust is reduced.
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I would not use that for a ruff on a parka. What you have is a piece of taxidermy grade tan and it will not hold up in use. It was tanned to be mounted and displayed. What you need to locate is what is called garment tanned. ... And that really should have been free of sawdust as Mike said. I assume maybe this was home tanned and not from one of the commercial tanneries.
     
  6. Lynxish

    Lynxish New Member

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    I am hoping I can still salvage this piece of fur. I told her my intentions of using it as trim on a coat, and it wasn't until after I purchased it and brought the quality to her attention that she said it was for taxidermy purposes.

    Do you have recommendations for oil?
     
  7. Lynxish

    Lynxish New Member

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    Ou
    It was definitely tanned by someone local and not a commercial tannery. I live in a small town and thought I could support local lol. Is it possible for me to work with this piece and refine it enough to use on a coat? What about it won't hold up to use on clothing? Sorry I am just unaware of the major differences :)
     
  8. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

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    Call the person you bought it from as how it was tan what they used. There a chance it is useable. To be honest I think it will last as long as the coat. Next time ask questions but if you're like me you dont know what to ask until you made a mistake. Good luck
     
  9. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    That doesn’t look like sawdust but mired in the coat but all dead.
    It’s definitely not commercially or even a good home tan.
    You should find out what the tan was as some tans aren’t garment tans and in time can and will break down. Plus if it wasn’t degreased properly, that will also cause skin failure.
    It’s a hard lesson you learned here but your going to pay $200 or more for a quality tanned yote.
    I’m not going to say use it or not but will say whatever you choose, it’s at your risk.
     
  10. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Send a dry salted coyote skin to Moyle, and they will garment tan it for you for ~$35.00. Excellent clean tans.
     
  11. Lynxish

    Lynxish New Member

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    Haha ya life lesson learned the hard way. Just a shame to see a wasted pelt. I've already decided to just order from a bigger outfitter. More money but definitely guaranties good quality.

    I'll try to find out what she used to tan it so that I can determine if I can even use it
     
  12. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

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    what Joey said find a raw dried pelt and have it tanned yourself or you can buy a tanned " wall hanger" pelt for cheaper... imo that pelt was not even close to being "taxidermy" tanned ... neats foot oil and "break" over an axe head in a vise... you can google breaking a tanned hide