Tanning gone wrong - can it be saved?

I had a nice winter doe skin which I decided to tan. I was possibly a little over enthusiastic with the fleshing around the edges and as I went through the process (using the K tan kit) everything seemed fine until drying. I've been left with a hide which is very dry and chamois like around the edges.

I've tried (and failed) to improve the flexibility by adding an oily moisturiser.

Can I go back to the kit and re-do the last few stages to soften up and then re-dry the skin with a lot more stretching this time or have I ruined it permanently?

Thanks for any advice


Site Staff
No! you will have problems making it flexible, although you can try wetting it back oiling it and staking it over an old shovel head or axe head set in a vice. But once you have tanned it you are stuck with it.

KTAN is not the ideal tan for making rugs, I believe you fix the skin first in Citric acid :eek: I wouldnt go there.

As a taxidermist of over 35 years, I have modelled full mounts and shoulder mounts of just about all the big game of Africa and most of Europe, and succesful tanning is something that requires the right knowledge and tan, and these tanning kits are not as good as they make out.
Bugger, thanks for the advice - suppose I'd better leave it for fear of making it worse. Although it's not the soft rug I had hoped for I can, at least, mount it on a wall or something.

I put it down to the over aggressive fleshing in the first instance.