Thursday, October 22, 2009

Natural Tanning

Last week we butchered a lamb and instead of using a commmercial tanning solution, I decided to try my hand at brain tanning like the indians did. As the photo's show, I first scraped the hide and then washed it. After spinning the hide in the washer, I applied the brain (which had been mashed and mixed with 1/2 cup water) to the skin side working it in with a flat stone. I then folded it over skin to skin and placed it in a plastic bag for 6-7 hours. When I removed the hide from the bag, I let it begin to dry and as it dried I streatched and pulled the hide to make it soft. I like the result better than the commercial tan. The finished product show the lock formation and more of the true color of the fleece. I'm happy!


  1. How did you wash the skin, Tari?

  2. Just like I wash fleece. I filled the laundry tub with warm soapy water, submerged the hide and let it soak. Then I drained the dirty water and filled the tub up again with warm water. I repeated this until the water was clean. No agitation though, just squeezing, and submerging. Then I put it in the washer on the spin cycle and voila a clean hide.