More home-tanning...
Here's the hide after it was wrung out, looking very small and shriveled up. The next step is to let the hide dry but keep stretching it while it does so. If you leave it without stretching it  will get hard.
There are various ways to dry the hide. You can lace it into a frame and work it with a stick but I invited over my friend Val and we pulled and stretched at the hide for most of a day on and off. I also worked it over a pointed 2 by 4 (you can see the base of this in the bottom tight corner of the photo).
I also tried pulling the hide around a rope tied to a tree. This is supposed to soften it and make it nice and fluffy. I am holding one end of the hide in each hand and pulling back and forth around the rope. I'm not sure that it really worked for me.

Notice that I am gradually wearing lighter and lighter clothing in the photos. I did this stage of the hide tanning on the Easter weekend and it was finally above freezing.

Here's the hide after it was finally dry. It's a nice white colour and parts of it are incredibly soft. Those are the good bits. Other parts are stiff and hard because I did not scrape enough off or because I let it dry without enough stretching.
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Copyright © 1997, Judy Kavanagh -- All rights reserved
Last updated October 22, 1997