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Tanning A Cow Hide

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Megan Jazelle, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. Megan Jazelle

    Megan Jazelle New Member


    I "married into farming" and recently slaughtered my prized belted galloway cow. I couldn't let the hide go to waste, but sadly the decision was made so quick I didn't have time to get all the tools I needed and I've just been doing the best I could with the time given.

    I'm trying to turn the hide into a rug... I fleshed, salted, used a product called "Deer Hunter's & Trapper's Hide Tanning Formula." Followed almost all of the directions...

    Here's where I went wrong and where I am needing help!

    Let on tanning solution for 12-16 hours while the skin was fold in on itself. I had my husband "open the hide" to dry, but I forgot to lay it flat when I got home... So it molded to the shape that it was on. Most of it is flat, but I have two spots that are large and bubbled.

    Do I go on with the process and try to soften the hide and hope it will lay flat-ish... Or do I need to get that large bubble "fixed" to make it flat. I did try stretching, but it's pretty dry now and I wasn't sure if rehydrating would help?

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice!!!
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    You took on a huge huge did I say huge project. If and I’ll say if the tannings process worked you need to just oil and break it or as the tannery would do tumble it till soft . You will know if the tanning took as you keep to rehydrate with water and salt and stretch and twist till you break it . Drag it over a small toothed saw blade to break down the fibers . AND LASTLY KEEP YOU FEET AND FINGERS CROSSED LOL GOODLUCK

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Well you definitely took on a hard job that a tannery should handle.
    The bad thing is the tan you used is not really considered a tan in doing a proper process especially on something as large as a cow. Yes there’s good a bad reviews on that tan.
    There is a whole different process to do a hide like this , pickle, shaving, neutralize tanning piling, breaking and or tumbling to soften it.
    Now if the tan didn’t take I would restart the whole process if your going to do it but I suggest a tannery instead but here’s what you should do.
    Rehydrate the hide in water and get it into a pickle for three days, drain , thin th beat you can cause we know you don’t have the proper tools. Place back in the pickle. Now sometimes a cape may need two or three shaving to get thin. Keeping it in the pickle stirring twice a day will give you plenty of time to order a better tan that we use in the industry. You’ll have many to choose from like powders to liqua tans and they will work much better than dans tan!
    Read on how to tan at either tru-bond or Pro1s web site as they have good instructions that you need to follow! good luck