You don’t exactly need chemicals like lignosulphonate Malaysia to properly tan that beautiful hide you bought or extracted from an animal you hunted yourself. Whether it is deer, elk, sheep, beaver, fox, or any other mammal, the methods to tan hides remain the same. 

Hair, furs and wools also do not make much of a difference when it comes to tanning hides. Whether you choose to shave them off or not is up to you, this is called making a rawhide. Rawhide is hide without any hairs, furs or wools and can be used as parchments, containers, strips or lacings or just something to chew for your dog.

Hair removal can be done by soaking them in water for several days after you clean the hide, which will be explained later. When the hair falls out after you touch or tug at it, you know you are making progress. Once all of the hair is gone, you can stretch your rawhide dry if you want a flat product.

Cleaning the hide

Now should you choose to just tan your hide as usual, the first step that you have to do is to clean the hide. This also applies before you make your rawhide. After skinning the animal, the hide will still have meat and fat left underneath, and they must be scrapped off. This is called fleshing, and you have to do this as thoroughly as you can.

The meat and fat can be eaten so long as the hide was freshly extracted. You can add them to stews, soups, or maybe even add them as ingredients for your sandwich, tacos or whatnot. If the hide is a few days old, the meat and fat would already be rotten and thus rendered unsafe for consumption.

Tanning with brains

how to tan a hide methods - Tanning An Animal Hide Yourself

There are tanning chemicals that you can use to tan your hides, but should you not have access to them, that is okay. The animal’s brain is the next perfect tanning material for you, as it contains the perfect volume and balance of conditioning oils to do the job properly.

After fleshing, you will have to dry your hide first by stretching it flat in a rack to dry. After drying, sand the hide’s flesh-side with sand paper until the hide feels smooth or soft.

To make brain tanning effective on your hide, use a clean, different blender to blend the brain with warm tap water until the liquid has the consistency of hand lotion. Alternatively, you can just mash the brain by hand in a quart of water.

Now boil that brain soup solution for two to three minutes, then after cooling it, apply and cover it throughout your hide. It must never be hot to the touch, otherwise the heat will damage the hide. Also, don’t tan the fur side of your hide or the hair will slip out.

With a damp towel, roll the hide up in it and soak it in the brain solution for two to eight hours, though it is better to do this way more than two hours by minimum. The longer it is soaked, the better the result. When you take out, stretch out the hide in all directions while it is still damp so the skin is broken up and softened.

Finally, once the hide is soft and dry, you can smoke the hide by suspending it over a small pile of embers or a flame. Remember that you only want the smoke and not the fire itself. Smoking your hide will keep it from turning stiff if it gets wet and dries. The process will be complete once the color of the flesh side changes.

And there you go. A fur, hair or wool-bearing hide you can wear, keep around or trade.