More home-tanning...

After all the meat is removed the next job is to remove the hair from the other side of the hide. Soaking the hide in water for a day or two loosens the hair and makes it come out easier. You don't want to cut it off, you want to pull it out by the roots. I am doing this here with the back of the draw knife. 

One deer hide generates an amazing amount of hair. People used to use it to stuff things but I just threw most of it away and saved a bit in case I think of something to do with it.

As well as removing the hair I am also removing the outer layer of skin on the hide that gives commercially tanned hide than shiny look on the outside. 


After the hide was free of meat, hair and gristle, or as good as it was going to get, I had to soak it in brains. I bought a pound or so of veal brains at a local meat market for this purpose. The butcher wanted to give me instructions on cooking them but I explained I was going to tan a deerhide with them instead and he looked a little baffled.

I cooked the brains a little bit, mashed them up and put them in a pail of water. I also added a capful of fabric softener. Then I put in the hide and left it overnight, swishing it around as often as I could.

Here is am taking the hide out of the pail the next morning, ready to wring it out.


Using an old paddle and a pole, I'm wringing the hide out to get as much of the water and brains out as I can.

Are the neighbours watching?


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Copyright © 1997, Judy Kavanagh -- All rights reserved
Last updated October 22, 1997