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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly

Hide Tanning 101




Hide tanning is one of the oldest professions on the planet. And for thousands of years, animal skins have been tanned using the natural tannins extracted from the bark and leaves of various plants. In this video, I'll show you how to make leather from animal skins using all natural methods, i.e. bark tanning. I'll start by showing how to flesh an elk or deer hide, then we'll use lime to remove the hair. For this tanning solution, I'm using Douglas Fir bark but there are many species that will work. Oak bark and Sumac leaves are both high in tannins as well. The tanning process takes several months depending on the thickness of the hide and the temperature. This elk hide took about 3 months. Once the tannins have penetrated all the way through the thickest parts of the skin, we'll oil and work the hide until it's dry. All-natural leather made with these ancient methods is useful for all kinds of leathercrafting projects. I'll make boots with this. If you're into gaming you might need to know how to make leather in Stranded Deep - not sure this'll help but at least you'll know how it's really done!


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