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Discussion in 'Tanning' started by hoytarcher, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. hoytarcher

    hoytarcher Member

    So I got an otter that was fleshed and then boarded by the trapper. I placed the hide into my pickle with McKenzie's relaxer and degreaser. It has been a week now and the skin is not relaxed. I wouldn't say it is still stiff, but it is hard (if that makes sense). My question is, does the relaxer take a long time to work or is there something wrong? I have 2 coons in the pickle as well and they are the same way.
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    You need to rehydrate them before you put them in the pickle. Here's the order, rehydrate until fully soft, then into pickle, after pickling for a few days, remove, shave and then degrease and return to pickle for required time, remove, neutralize, if tan calls for it, then tan and proceed with oiling and drying and breaking. Trapper dried skins take longer to rehdrydrate form what I hear, haven't tried to tan any I've dried that way, they get sold to fur market.
    hoytarcher and Westcoast like this.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    A pickle never hydrates a cape. As stated hydration first prior to your pickle. Those who said a pickle hydrates a skin is full of it. It’ll never hydrate properly or do it’s job.
  4. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Learned this lesson the hard way - African air dried capes are the worst. Thoroughly hydrate with water first.
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  5. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Matuska has a relaxer that has worked pretty good for me with salt dried trapper skins. As stated, relax first.