ahead and tan it yourself! It is amazing to watch this wet,
sometimes unappealing, mass of skin transform into a beautiful and
useful material --- and do it in your own backyard with simple tools.
You can make soft, washable leather with emulsified oils and wood smoke.
This is commonly known as brain, smoke or Indian tanning. Animal brains
are traditionally used as the source of emulsified oils, hence the name,
but you can also use eggs or a mixture of soap and oil. Brain tan is
ideal for clothing, bags, beadwork and all kinds of things (such as
shoe-laces, pot holders, hair ties, holding parts of your truck
Hides can also be tanned by soaking them in tannic acids derived from
tree barks and certain plants. This is known as bark tan. Bark tan makes
a firm, solid, waterproof leather that is useful for saddles, holsters,
belts, rifle cases, shoulder bags and the like.
We've also got detailed tutorials on how to
obtain, skin and store your hides as well as advice on how and where to
learn the skills.
Caring for Your Hides
quality of your finished buckskin starts with the quality of skinning
and storage of your hides. Here are detailed, step-by-step tutorials to
help you take care of your hides, right from the start.
Learn How to Tan
Tanning isn't complicated but
it is precise. There are some excellent books, videos and instructors
that can make all of the difference. There are also some books and
videos that are nowhere near complete enough. Here are our