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Salted For Years Pelt Tanning Advice??

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Crepuscular Creature, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. Hello again, my name is Raven and I'm tackling another HUGE project that was meant to be done years ago.

    I have the pelt of one of our bulls we had butchered back in about 2019, I had no clue what to do with it/it was way too heavy for me to work with all the time/I had nowhere to work on it. So, I put a ton of salt on it and it's been salted like that ever since it was put up in the loft the day he was butchered.

    Now, the pelt is rock hard and I can't unroll it (my uncle rolled it up a few years ago because he planned on getting it out for me, but he never did. I didn't want it rolled up, but I had no say in it). How would I approach rehydrating and tanning this pelt, and is there any way I can do it with "household items" like vinegar? (I'm on a super tight budget due to having cows and I only just graduated this year, so buying cows wasn't necessarily that smart).

    I've home tanned pelts in the past with neatsfoot oil and other stuff, but everything comes out oily and I most likely don't have enough money to buy that much oil.

    The pelt doesn't have to end flexible or anything, as it will be used as either a wall hanger or rug if I can still salvage it (dermestid beetles and mice got at it while it was in the loft).

    Any advice helps as I'm no expert yet and I am already overwhelmed by this, but I don't know of anywhere that would tan it for me for a partially inexpensive price.

    Thank you in advance and have a great day,

    Robert Baker likes this.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    First off nests foot oil won’t tan a hide as it’s just an oil and it’s not used in our tanning industry per day till after our tan is done and oiled with a proper oil.
    Now back to your cow. I’ll bear the bad news as it’s going to be very hard to hydrate that cape without lot of soaking and using a pressure washer.
    You could try soaking in plain water and see what happens. If it doesn’t get hydrated in 24 hrs it just might be a real mess. Tanneries will use reverse osmosis and pressure washers to hydrate capes like this and sometimes it won’t works.
    Tanning would be ex-100, lutan are the industry standard but there are lots out there. Using vinegar works on a pickle but it’s a 1-1-1 mix
    Gallon water-gallon of vinegar to a pound of salt. Not having the money plus equipment it’s just going to be hard work. Best to you.