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question for commercial tanneries

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by alpinewildsheep, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. Would like to know what professional tanners advise is on furbearing animal hides that are sent to them to tan.Commonlly these animals come in that have been skinned by a trapper or hunter.Although they have been handled satisfactory most of the time they still almost always have some degree of skinning or fleshing damage.They may have rips,tears,skinning cuts that are longer than 1/2".I've often wondered how to keep the damage to a minimum through the tanning process.Would tanneries prefer that the larger damage was sewed up first before sending to tannery or does that interfeer with the shaving process?Or would neatly stiched areas be more inclined to get caught in equipment and increase the likelyhood of further damge?Remember i talking about furbearer animals only.Foxes,bobcats,wolves,coyotes,etc.Thanks for you input.
  2. I hate it when i find sewn seams. All it does is make a goey thready mess that you can't shave. I always have to cut the stitches to prevent furthur damage. Once the cut is made in the raw hide, it is best to leave it alone until you get it back from the tannery then sew up all holes by hand or with a fur sewing machine. This prevents enlargement of the holes by shaving or weakening the edge with thread holes.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Stitched hides are quite common in the tannery. We shave right over them on the trapper furs. It is just a technique for the trapper to get a better price for his furs and serves no purpose for the tannery.
    If it is an unusually large stitching that is holding the hide together from being in two pieces, then we would shave up to the stitching and not over the stitching. The 1/2" stitches you described are shaved over with no problems.
  4. Felpy

    Felpy New Member

    On thinner hides (fox, marten, etc.) I would reccomend sewing the holes. For the most part these hides are so thin they cann't be shaved. These hides are thin enough that stirring or tumlbing could cause the holes to become larger. On thicker hides (wolves, coon, etc.) its better to leave the holes alone as the stiching will just cuase problem when it comes to shaving.

    The biggest problem we've run into with hides put up by trappers is that many times they fail to remove the thin membrane or all the meat when they do the fleshing. When these hides are stretched and dried it can be a nightmare to get this membrane and flesh to re-hydrate. On the thicker hides the flesh/membrane can be shave off but the on the thin delicate hides that is not an option.
  5. The thin hides are shaved along with everything else. But, let's say for the sake of the discussion, the hides are too thin to shave. Then they are pulled around on a bench knife which will do the stitches in just like a round knife will. Especially with air dried trapper skins where pulling around the bench knife is standard.

    Best to wait for the hides to be tanned, then stitch them.