Any members experienced sheep hide tanners?

JanetMarie

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Fleshing and thoroughly washing before the blood dried on the wool would have been ideal, but couldn't at the time, so I am looking for a solution in getting dried blood out of the wool.

The hides have been salted and stored for almost 1 year. The first one that I recently got out of storage to work on I soaked 4 times before washing and rinsing about 5000 times, and the wool started to slip. It's dry now, waiting on the other hides to do the smoking step all at once.

Any knowledge on a product, remedy, or solution on getting the dried blood out without excessive soaking?
 

tortoise

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I have tried working with wool-on sheepskin, but wasnt able to flesh it. Not enough grip strength after old hand injuries. Bummer!

I dont know what the pros would use, but I know vinegar removes/dissolves dried blood. Google says its safe on wool and leather. A slicker brush and metal flea comb or nit comb will help you get debris out of the wool with less rinsing. Try hydrogen peroxide for any staining remaining in the blood spots.

I would love to see photos of whatever you try!
 

JanetMarie

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Thanks for the replies! I actually found a remedy.

I used a laundry detergent that I already have, but don't use often, called Persil. I worked the Persil full strength into the very soiled areas and let it set, then rinsed 2-3 times. I repeated 3-4 times. Then washed and rinsed and rinsed the entire hide a few more times with plenty of Persil, and it worked! The wool is clean and smells good!

I'll post some pics when finished. Maybe during the process. I have three more hides to do.
 

Britesea

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Persil is a really good detergent. It was the only one I ever found that actually got the diesel and oil smells out of DH's work clothes (heavy equipment mechanic)
 

JanetMarie

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Here are some pictures and descriptions of some hides I've worked on. This was mostly done early November when we had temps near or at 70F.

Getting the hide out to work on. They've been stored for almost one year with salt on the flesh side. I scraped as much salt off as I could and put in a sack (the salt). It can be re-used. I rinsed the rest of the salt off, in an area away from plants and our well.

DSCN6539.jpg


Here's my set up to start fleshing. Sawhorses on both sides:
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Ready for fleshing:
DSCN6545.jpg


Here it is partially fleshed:
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Fleshing is done. This is the third one so far. Have to make sure the membrane is removed with the fat and flesh. It's difficult to get every bit of membrane off. Without removing the membrane smoke cannot penetrate the skin.
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Here it is hanging and drying two days later. It should have been stretched out on a frame to dry.
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The wool side:
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The wool is beautiful:
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Here's another one that I fleshed since:
DSCN6559.jpg



This is the last one of the five. After fleshing and washing about 500 times, I cut holes around the perimeter and strung it with paracord on a skid to stretch and dry. The stretching will keep the fibers from drying stiff. The lines on the skin side are parts of the membrane. It's okay that they're broken up, but still on there. The smoke should still penetrate all of the skin okay. I can't say for sure it's okay, since I have yet to smoke one.
DSCN6563.jpg
 

JanetMarie

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In researching the whole process, there's just not much good information out there. Determining what I consider "good information" depends on if the smoking step is skipped, and most youtube videos and websites, the smoking step is skipped. It seems then that they just are putting information out there just for fame or what?

Without smoking there cannot be any true tanning. Although, I don't know about the commercial tanners that use animal hides to make shoes, coats, purses, etc. They're using chemicals.

I do have a book that is supposedly the most comprehensive guide on tanning, but it's focus is on buckskin. The process is different for keeping the fur on. I finally did find one youtuber who seems to have the best information, because it made sense (after much reading, and watching other videos).

Anyway, just gathering as much information as I could, and doing, I have learned a lot. I'll finish the process in the spring. Hides will stay preserved until then.
 

JanetMarie

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Persil is a really good detergent. It was the only one I ever found that actually got the diesel and oil smells out of DH's work clothes (heavy equipment mechanic)
I also have a husband who works with diesel. I don't use the Persil for that, but another detergent that is made somewhat locally.
 

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