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Trapper's Hide Tanning Formula allows easy home tanning of all fur skins and deer hides. It produces a soft, supple Indian-style tan in 5-7 days, and is pre-mixed and ready to use.
Trapper's Hide Tanning Formula comes in an 8 oz. bottle and tans all fur skins -- raccoon, fox, coyote, muskrat, mink, beaver, squirrel, rabbit, etc; and tans deer either hair-on for a rug or mount or hair-off for bucksin leather. Also tans elk, moose, caribou, bear.........and even snakeskin.
One bottle will tan two medium sized fur skins or one deer hide. Elk, moose, caribou and bear require 3 to 6 bottles.
Directions: Follow steps carefully for best results
1. For best results, start with fresh, green skin. Carefully scrape or cut off all meat and fat until skin is very clean. If applicable, skin out ears and paws, split tail. If skin has been dried, you should first soak in plain water, just long enough to soften. (For red or grey fox use salt water, ½ lb. salt/gal. at room temperature.)
2. To tan hair-on: Salt the flesh side with TABLE SALT. Work PLENTY OF SALT into entire hide including ears, paws, etc. Fold salted hide flesh on flesh, roll up and leave 24 hrs. Then scrape off old salt and repeat with clean salt for another 24 hrs. Then scrape off salt again and go to Step 4.
3. To tan hair-off: (e.g. buckskin) Immerse hide in plain water. NO SALT. Change water daily until hair loosens (usually 4-6 days of deer or elk). Pull or scrape off hair is removed. Rinse well in clean water and go to Step 4
4. Prepare a salt bath by mixing 1\2 lb. of table salt per gal. of hot water. (For hair-off tanning only, e.g. buckskin, add 1 capful of Clorox per 5 gall. of salt bath). Mix salt bath thoroughly and let cool. Then Immerse hide 6-8 hrs. (except red or grey fox just 15 min.). Remove, rinse in cool water and drain.
5. Using a sharp knife, thin skin as much as possible, removing any remaining membrane. A wire wheel can be used if skin is allowed to almost dry first.
6. After skin is thinned, wash in warm water with liquid dish soap (e.g. Dawn) to remove salt and grease. Very greasy skins such as raccoon, beaver and bear should be washed twice with dish soap to remove all grease. Then hang to drain
7. Warm Hide Tanning Formula (HTG) by sitting bottle in pot of hot tap water for 30 min. The skin should be at room temperature, semidry, but still moist and flexible. Shake warm HTF well and apply an even layer to the flesh side. Apply with paint brush, or by hand wearing rubber gloves. Massage firmly into all areas of the skin.
8. Fold the skin flesh side unto itself and leave overnight (12-16 hours). If it is a cased skin, just turn it fur out and hang at room temperature, away from direct heat. This will allow the fur to dry while the hide is tanning. After this 12-16 hr. tanning time, open the flesh side to the air (or if a cased pelt, turn the flesh side out again) and let dry slowly over 2-3 days. As it dries, periodically pull and stretch the skin until it is completely dry and soft. If the skin is still stiff in a few spots, dampen those areas with warm water, reapply warm HTF and repeat.
9. OPTIONAL: When the skin is fully tanned and dry it can be thinned further with a wire wheel or coarse sandpaper if a higher degree of suppleness is desired. Also, pulling the tanned hide back and forth over a tight rope works very well for softening.