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How to Get a Cow Hide Ready to Be Tan

How to get a cowhide ready to be processed for tanning. There are several steps you can take. Read this article to learn how to soften a cowhide before it goes to the tannery. We’ll also talk about how to transport the cowhide and how to avoid using iodized salt. Once the hide is softened, it’s time to transport it to the tannery.

Softening a cowhide

Softening a cowhide ready to tan requires a process known as de-liming. This process reduces the alkalinity of the hide. It involves the addition of acids and enzymes to the hide. The resulting shrinkage of the fibers makes them pliable for the bating process. This process takes approximately two hours for a cowhide. Depending on its purpose, this process may be repeated as often as three times.

Before the tanned hide can be soaked in a tanning solution, it must be fleshed. This requires the removal of any fat, muscle, or flesh that may remain on the hide. The process must be done by hand and thoroughly. When a cowhide is ready to be tanned, the meat and fat should be removed. The remaining skin should then be rinsed and dried again. Saddle soap and mink oil may be used to replace the lost oils. Once the hide is soft, it can be tanned.

Avoiding odized salt

When preparing cowhide for tanning, avoid using iodized salt. This substance can dehydrate the hide by drawing out moisture. Watch out for thin skin and pools of liquid; this is a sign that salt is working. If the hide is soaked with water, you will need to re-salt it. Also, use newspapers at the bottom of a box when shipping it.

Then, mix 1 cup of non-iodized salt with two and a half cups of washing soda or alum and three gallons of warm water. After the first 48 hours, remove the hide from the solution. After that, rinse it with clean water several times every hour and let it dry completely. This process may take several days. The tanning process can take up to eight days.

Leaving the hair on

To prepare the hide for tanned leather, cows must be skinned. After removing the hide, it must be salted and refrigerated to ensure good curing. Some sources recommend salting the hide to make it more malleable, while others suggest not salting it at all. The salting process can be wet or dry, depending on your preference.

The hide will be heavy after being washed, so make sure it hangs over a chair or board to drain. Next, swab it with neat’s-foot oil. This oil should absorb quickly but leave a slight residue. After that, tack it to a stretcher and leave it to dry in a cool, shady area.

Transporting a cowhide to be tanned

There are several steps involved in transporting a cowhide to be tan. The hide must first be frozen or salted. In the absence of refrigeration, salting seems to be the only viable option. Some sources recommend adding a significant amount of salt to the hide while others suggest not salting it at all. Salting the hide can either be wet or dry. The correct amount of salting depends on the hide’s size and weight.

Before transporting the hide, it must be flat and free of wrinkles or curled edges. The edges should be free from any sharp objects. Then, place the hide in a sack or plastic-lined box and close the lid. If there are low spots, add more salt. Once the skin is flat, the salt draws moisture from the hide. Depending on the quality of the hide, it may take several days or a couple of weeks to dry completely.

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