Roe skin tanning

mi111

Member
Hi there,

So I had previously tried to tan a fallow skin and that didn't go so well( used vegetable oil method as substitute to brain tanning).
I wanted to know if there might be someone around that does skin tanning ?
It's a small roe doe and would like to make use of its skin.

Thanks in advance !

mi111
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
You need to fix the hair first before tanning. Never heard of a vegetable oil tan? Natural tan with oak galls was used many years back, and brain tanning is a messy process.
 

mi111

Member
So the ingredients are warm water + mayo + vegetable oil + eggs.
Mix them up together, as a substitute for brain (and yes its a bit messy).

I was wondering if there are people that do skin tanning as a service?

cheers
 

Silvius

Well-Known Member
I am presently tanning a Roe skin with one of my daughters who wants it as a rug. I bought a K-tan kit on the internet. Its not an old fashioned brain tan -its a chrome tan but it is very simple and involves very little work that could go wrong aside from fleshing and membraning. Should be fine for a rug and simple for a little girl to succeed with. Its made by Snowdonia Supplies who I think would know which taxidermists would tan a hide as a service.

As to oil and brain tan -I gather its a case of needing to emulsify the oil (which is already emulsified in the brains), so soap is often used with the oil. I think that is why eggs are sometimes used for this purpose in the same way that they emulsify butter in cakes and oil in mayonnaise? Salting the skin as soon as its off helps to fix the hair.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Be careful, salt does not fix hair as such. Salting a skin is curing, and salt loving bacteria can still live within this and the hair will fall out. Fixing a skin is the first stage to any tanning process. KTan is a syntan and within this kit they use citric acid if I remember rightly to fix the skin first. You are better off using Formic acid to fix a skin first, although this is used in conjunction with salt and water.
 

Silvius

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the advice Malc. what dilution of formic acid would you recommend and for how long? Is the salt applied at the same time by mixing the formic acid and brine in a bath or is the skin salted first for a few days?

I have been trying to work out what the ingredients of the K tan kit are. I thought the pickle might be citric acid from the smell. You don't happen to know if the fixing compound for the Chromium Sulphate is Sodium bicarbonate?

Thanks,

Paul
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I know that it would be lovely to tan my own roe skins, or to have them tanned - they are rather beautiful, but £35 this is a much easier option. Wildlife-Products - Game Skins. Yes they are from Europe, they are pretty much the same price as a tanning kit and no mess, nor do you have the smell of a half rotten skin. I ordered one for Christmas and its under by desk keeping my feet warm. Other than that I have no association with the company what-so-ever.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Thanks for the advice Malc. what dilution of formic acid would you recommend and for how long? Is the salt applied at the same time by mixing the formic acid and brine in a bath or is the skin salted first for a few days?

I have been trying to work out what the ingredients of the K tan kit are. I thought the pickle might be citric acid from the smell. You don't happen to know if the fixing compound for the Chromium Sulphate is Sodium bicarbonate?

Thanks,

Paul
7 galls warm water, 6lbs salt and 7.5fl oz Formic acid. Keep in a plastic bin and use a wooden pole to stir in well. Within a day it will turn the raw side white. After it has fixed the skin you will need to neautralise it with Bicarb soda in water. Then flesh down on a machine or by hand before tanning and finally oiling and staking.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
7 galls warm water, 6lbs salt and 7.5fl oz Formic acid. Keep in a plastic bin and use a wooden pole to stir in well. Within a day it will turn the raw side white. After it has fixed the skin you will need to neautralise it with Bicarb soda in water. Then flesh down on a machine or by hand before tanning and finally oiling and staking.
Should you skin as soon after shot as possible or is it OK to leave carcass in chiller with skin on for a few days as normal.
I assume the skin needs to be as clean as possible before hand - ie any meat and blood removed.
And will that solution remain good for a few weeks, or does it go really smelly.

Can you store skins in the freezer so you can then do a batch at once?
 

Silvius

Well-Known Member
Great stuff, thanks. I have ordered formic acid off ebay for the future. Is the 7.5 ounces for a 99% solution?

Is this recipe for a Roe skin only or is it a general deer skin recipe that will not need upscaling for larger skins?

Could the solution be topped up with more formic acid to do a second skin or is it best to start fresh each time?

Thanks again.
 

Hayduke

Well-Known Member
1. I used to do my own and had some good results with Diesel and bicarbonate of soda paste. It's a faff, although I would do it again.

2. You can buy tanning and curing kits on line.

3. What I do now and would really recommend, (having tried DIY a few times) is salt them well, package them up in a couple of plastic rubble sacks from B&Q, and send them to Devonia Products / Sheepskins (google them). Six months later, you get a beautiful rug back and you are supporting one of the few remaining UK tanneries and the only one left that does contract tanning and curing.
 

alwhitt94

Well-Known Member
1. I used to do my own and had some good results with Diesel and bicarbonate of soda paste. It's a faff, although I would do it again.

2. You can buy tanning and curing kits on line.

3. What I do now and would really recommend, (having tried DIY a few times) is salt them well, package them up in a couple of plastic rubble sacks from B&Q, and send them to Devonia Products / Sheepskins (google them). Six months later, you get a beautiful rug back and you are supporting one of the few remaining UK tanneries and the only one left that does contract tanning and curing.
How much does it cost to have it done at Devonia products?
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Formic acid will gradually loose its strength and you need to use a hydrometer. It is only fixing the hair, not tanning. Tanning is a lengthy process and there are many types of tan on the market. The one used by taxidermists is Lutan FN which gives plenty of stretch to the skin. If you are making a rug you need a Chrome tan really, but this is another process.

If you look back in the site history I put a whole process on the site.
 

Hayduke

Well-Known Member
How much does it cost to have it done at Devonia products?
£45 if memory serves. I have a couple with them at the moment, I will call and check on Mon, then post back on here. Add £10-20 for next day postage to them.

There is a new tannery started up in south Cumbria which is doing contract hides and sheep rugs, I will try and find out if they will do deer , and costs.
 

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