Tanning your own flat skins

Trent R

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May 10, 2020
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If I got flat skins dipped and then shipped back, what does the tanning process then look like. I am wanting to tan the skins my self but wondering what would have to be done to tan a previously dipped skin. What exactly does the dipping process do to the skin? Would the tanning still be the same as a "fresh" skin that was killed here and not dipped or salted? Any taxidermist here that could help me with this. I have tanned deer skins in the past using a kit and doing a wet tan, could you still just do the same thing w/ skins after shipped back from Africa?
As a hobby taxidermist I did what you want to all capes from one of my safaris. There is a process that should/must be followed. May be good to try a few easily replaced skins before starting with hard to replace African parts. Home tanning does not compare to pro tanning, at least for me. Mine did allow me to mount my animals but not with the ease and level of perfection I like. Think rubber hides, no stretch, and hard to use, details in mounts=not. All internet tutorials I have watched always start with a nice fresh skinned hide. I do have taxidermy friends who tan all their customers capes and mount, those are not African skins though. We always send them to our tannery.

For specific answers I would call a pro tannery and get some advice. Saying that I will be tanning my back skin/floor rug skins from my inbound crate. I plan to use these around my pedestal bases.

There are awesome pro taxidermists on this site, I will also wait eagerly for them to chime in on your request.

I am looking at doing the same as you and tan my own back skins/floor rug skins. Defiantly not looking at trying to do any capes! Just wondering if there is any things that need to be done differently since the skins will be dipped.
I’d like to know as well about this process. Been tanning my own North American hides for years and have gotten pretty good at it. I also do all my own euro mounts.
Thanks Buck, I thought that may have been the case but wasn't sure if the chemical process of dipping would change anything.
Thanks Buck, I thought that may have been the case but wasn't sure if the chemical process of dipping would change anything.
A reasonable concern. Nothing in the dip process will change your tanning process although a "relaxer" might be needed during the pickle stage if the hide is extra stiff from long term salt storage.

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