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Technology and rules for processing leather and fur – dressing of skins

dressing skins at home Leather dressing is one of the first types of crafts mastered by man. This skill is very useful for modern people as well. Hunters are happy to keep the skins of the killed trophies. People are purposefully engaged in raising and slaughtering fur-bearing animals for the sake of obtaining leather and fur. In agriculture, the mass dressing of animal skins is carried out. Knowledge and practice of dressing skins at home will allow obtaining high-quality raw materials for subsequent processing – sewing clothes, bags and hats, making accessories and shoes, forming stuffed animals and dummies, creating decorative elements.

Primary processing of skins

fresh skin The choice of dressing technology depends on the species, lifestyle and physiological state of the animal, the type and quality of fur, age, sex and many other factors. Improper primary processing reduces the quality of leather and fur raw materials and shortens its shelf life.

The matured fur is lush and shiny, with a dense, uniform undercoat. The hair should be elastic and even, with a well-developed spine, not to fall out.

Before you start dressing fur, you should carefully examine the hairline of the animal. Dirt and blood are washed off with a rag or gauze dipped in warm water and laundry soap. Tangled and matted areas of fur are usually combed with a special brush. The skin must be removed carefully, avoiding cuts and tears. It is advisable to keep the head, paws and tail.

Stages of dressing skins and fur

dry skinThe removed skin is degreased and dried. Degreasing is the process of removing all subcutaneous fat. It is carried out manually with the help of special instruments on the frozen fat layer. Raw skins are ruled, giving them the correct shape and symmetry, and then dried under certain conditions – high humidity and temperature, good air exchange.

In order not to stain fur and hands with grease, experts recommend sprinkling the workplace and skins with fine sawdust.

Making skins at home consists of nine mandatory steps:

  1. Soaking. Initially, the skins are soaked overnight in concentrated brine. For 1 liter of water at room temperature, you will need 4 level tablespoons of salt. After soaking, they are turned inside out and squeezed out..soaking
  2. Fleshness. The skinning machine will help to quickly and efficiently remove the flesh. The flesh is the subcutaneous fatty layer of animals, it is removed with a blunt knife with a wide blade in the direction from the tail to the head.flesh
  3. Secondary degreasing. At this stage, the skin is washed in a foamy solution of laundry soap. The liquid temperature should not exceed 25 °. You can soak the skins in the soap solution for 20-30 minutes. Then they are thoroughly rinsed in clean cold water, squeezed out and turned inside out with fur..degreasing
  4. Pickling or pickling. A solution for dressing skins is prepared from 2 tablespoons of vinegar essence, 4 tablespoons of salt without a slide and 1 liter of water. The temperature of the solution is in the range of 18-23 °. The skins, turned inside out, are immersed in liquid and left for several hours, stirring occasionally. For thin skins, the holding time is 6 hours, for skins of medium thickness – 8-10 hours, thick skins are soaked in a pickel for more than 12 hours.picking
  5. Endurance under oppression. During pickling, organic fat and collagen fibers are destroyed in the skin tissues. After pickling, the skins are wrung out by hand, folded 2 or 3 times and laid under oppression. Thin skins are kept under pressure for 3-4 hours, skins of medium thickness – about 5 hours, thick skins – 6-8 hours.
  6. Drying. The skins are dried at room temperature away from heat sources, while the fur should be directed inward.drying skins For drying, special devices are used – rules. You can stretch the skin on a piece of plywood. Periodically, while the skin remains wet, it is removed from the stretch and manually squeezed.stretching skins on the rules
  7. Tanning. Tannins restore the structure of collagen fibers. After the procedure, the skin becomes softer and more elastic, does not break or crumble. As a tanning agent, you can use a thick infusion of oak or willow bark (half a liter of crushed dry bark is taken for 1 liter of water). The bark is poured into water, brought to a boil and boiled for 10-15 minutes, then infused for one day. The infusion is filtered through cheesecloth and applied with a brush to the skin. Next, the skin is dried and crushed.tanning
  8. Fatty. For fattening at home, a special fat emulsion is prepared. In 300 ml of warm water, it is necessary to dissolve 50 grams of soap, 50 grams of fish oil, 10 drops of ammonia, cool the solution and add another 500 ml of water to it. All components are thoroughly mixed and carefully, so as not to get on the fur, are applied to the skin with a brush from the side of the flesh. The treated skins are dried at room temperature.fat
  9. Finishing treatment. Finally, the skins are crushed with pumice or fine-grained sandpaper, passing it along the flesh from the head to the tail. If necessary, stretch and shake the skin. Now she is ready for further work – cutting, gluing or sewing.

Popular recipes for leather dressing

good quality hideThe fermentation procedure is considered a classic version of the dressing of skins, after which the material becomes strong and elastic. Alum for dressing skins is prepared according to various recipes using ingredients of natural and artificial origin – flour, malt, rock salt, soda, acids, dairy products. Acid pickling is an alternative to traditional fermentation. Acetic acid, salt and water are commonly used to make the pickel. Instead of vinegar, you can use sulfuric or boric acid.

do-it-yourself skinsIt is necessary to be engaged in dressing with fresh skin. If the work needs to be postponed, then the skin can be salted by rubbing it abundantly with salt, frozen or dried.

Recipe for making skins at home:

  1. If the skin is dried, then first it is necessary to rewind, that is, soak it in a special solution (1 liter of water + 1 tbsp.spoon of salt + ½ furacilin tablets + ½ teaspoon of vinegar). The skin must be completely placed in the solution, so it is placed under oppression.
  2. The moistened skin is squeezed out, stretched and fleshed according to all the rules. Next, it must be washed in order to finally get rid of grease and dirt. One of the popular recipes for a detergent is this – 6 liters of water + 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid + 2 tbsp. tablespoons of rock salt + 1 teaspoon of soda. It should be washed with effort, then it is necessary to thoroughly rinse the skins until the water is absolutely clean.
  3. For pickling, it is recommended to prepare a solution using 3 liters of water, 6 level tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar essence. In the pickle, the skin is kept for several hours, then it is squeezed out and tanned.
  4. Tanning recipe – water, oak bark, 4-5 tablespoons of salt. Everything is mixed, the liquid is brought to a boil and cooked for 20-30 minutes. Filter the finished solution, cool to 35-38 ° and soak the skin in it for 6-9 hours in a row.
  5. After tanning, the liquid is squeezed out of the skin and taken to dry the fur. The dried skin is treated with a fat emulsion made from hot water, laundry soap, salt, natural fat (pork, fish, lamb) and ammonia.
  6. From the surface of the flesh, remove the remaining fat solution, stretch the skin on the plywood and wait for it to dry. The dried skin is removed from the stretch and crumpled, that is, it is slowly rubbed between the fingers. Finally, the flesh can be sanded with a scraper or pumice stone..stretching and drying of the skin

Dressing of leather and fur is a complex, lengthy and laborious procedure. Mastery in leather and fur business can only be achieved by working and studying. Years of experience result in light, soft and elastic skins that look great, feel good and have a long service life..

An easy way to dress skins – video

Equipment for dressing skins at home – video

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