How to Soften Cow Hide the Right Way
Here are four techniques that help soften cowhide. You can either use Wet scraping or Dry salting. Brain tanning is another common method. You can even use Oils. Read on for details. You can try one or more of them, but keep in mind that they are different from each other. Learn how to soften cowhide the right way and save yourself money at the same time. You can even make your own!
Wet scraping technique
To make tanned leather, cowhide needs to be conditioned before it can be used as a belt. To prepare a cowhide for this process, you must first take care to wash it thoroughly in cool water several times. Make sure to clean out all the fat, flesh, and sinewy bits from the cow’s hide. Afterward, the leather should be soaked in water and stretched to the desired softness.
The cowhide should be soaked in water for at least two weeks, preferably longer. When the salt becomes wet, change it. Always make sure to use a plastic garbage can to store the salt, as metal can react with chemicals. You can also scrape the hide using a dull knife and rub it with a rope, which will soften it. It will take about two weeks to fully soften the hide, so don’t rush the process.
Dry salting technique
To soften the cowhide, the first step is to clean it thoroughly. This is done by immersing the cowhide in a tub of cool, clean water. This process should be repeated several times to remove any flesh, fat, or sinewy bits. Rinse the hide with water to remove any remaining salt. Then, use a dull knife to scrape off any remaining salt. After this, the hide should be scraped to reveal the softened surface.
The salt draws out moisture from the hide, so it must be removed in the early days of curing. This process takes about 21 days, though shorter periods are sometimes necessary for hotter climates. After curing, the cowhide must be scraped to remove any loose salt. The process is more thorough than it sounds, and if done correctly, it can lead to a softer, supple hide.
Brain tanning method
One of the earliest methods for softening cowhide was the brain tanning process, which has many advantages. First, it is labor intensive because the hide is exposed to extreme heat. The skin is cleaned of hair and skin by soaking it in a mild acid, and then the hair is loosened by painting it with slaked lime, a mixture of wood ash and water. Then, the hide is stretched lengthwise to remove any excess skin, and edges are not to be missed.
Once the hide is clean and dry, it is placed on a wooden rack. After a few days, the hide should be stretched out to remove any excess hair, and then the brain solution is applied to the hide. This enables the hide to absorb the liquid and become soft. This process is known as dry scrap brain tanning, and it is the most labor-intensive and time-consuming method. However, it will produce very soft and stretchy leather.
Oils to soften cowhide
If you are preparing to make a leather jacket or a leather purse, you may be wondering how to prepare cowhide for the tannery. Before you start, make sure you clean the hide thoroughly. You should soak it in cool water several times to get rid of flesh, fat, and sinewy bits. After washing, you can apply saddle soap or mink oil to soften the leather.
You can also use Mink oil or neatsfoot oil to condition the leather. Both of these oils are made from cow bones and have a lovely shine. Mink oil is a bit cheaper than neatsfoot oil, but it will not add as much shine. Both oils soften the leather and make it more malleable. Once you’ve applied these oils to the hide, make sure to stretch it to achieve its ideal shape and softness.