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Observations on Goatskin:    page 2

Glands

looking at the flesh side
On the flesh side, you can
see the ridge of skin that
runs under the black mane.

As I was scraping the hair off, I noticed two quarter-sized glands located at the shoulders. These were not visible when fleshing the fresh hide on the beam but once the rest of the hide was thinned by dehydration, these oily glands stood proud of the surface, like a mesa in the desert. I scraped them off.

Also on the flesh side. directly under the black mane, there lay a ridge of skin that I am assuming is some type of scent marker. Thicker than the rest of the skin and more tightly woven, it required extra scraping but had no oily feel like the shoulder glands. Once the hide had dried, I simply scraped this spine ridge down.

Neither presented any problems in softening or smoking.

Membrane

The membrane proved to be very similar to deer and presented no challenges whatsoever. Since the hide still maintained the greasy feel, however, I removed it from the frame and soaked it in soapy water overnight to prevent the possibility of grease-burn on the thin hide. I removed the membrane on the fleshing beam after the soak.

Softening

Soaking in the brain slurry for only twenty minutes, the hide was laced into a frame without first being wrung out. Goatskins are so thin that the edges will dry out completely before you have time to finish the lacing, so I opted to leave the hide as moist as possible and remove the excess later.

Due to the thin nature of the hide, softening proceeded at a quick clip. I initially used a stake to stretch and soften the hide but found that it was too easy to poke holes with it and after adding a dozen small holes. I pulled the hide out of the frame and softened it by hand.

Because the hide dried so quickly, almost all of the softening was done in the shade. Fven on a cool day. the breeze wicked the moisture out of the edges almost faster than I could keep up with it.


 
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