tanning a fur-on goat hide

i lost a young doe to illness just as spring is coming on, and so the sad but resource-full task of processing began. since i'm unsure of the cause of death, we won't be consuming the meat - which means the main harvest is fur, sinew, and eventually bones.

softening fur-on goat hide
i tanned the hide with a solution of eggs and water, and mostly softened it over the back of a chair. 

softening fur-on goat hide
i ended up redressing it twice - leaving the fur on is trickier than scraping it and going for buckskin, and it wasn't getting as supple as i wanted. i ended up spending a few evenings stretching inside.

softening goat fur
then smoked it. much more clear pictures of what the smoking looks like this time around.

goat fur smoking
the hide turned out a bit crinkly. i think i could have done a stronger acidifying rinse, and could have dressed it more thoroughly (stretching it really actively into the dressing). but, it's still a very usable and beautiful fur that will likely become a small rain cape.

all my instructions are coming from 'deerskins into buckskins' by matthew richards - the second edition. my main excitement with this hide is that, having finally made buckskin Successfully, i feel much more comfortable pausing the process and trusting that the hide will still be okay when i come back to it. getting familiar with how to store it and prevent rot, fur slipping, etc. has been crucial, and is still something it'll take a while to perfect - especially with different ages and species of animal. but having two hides under my belt now, i'm less worried (and thus less frustrated) as i explore these various processes and figure out how to make the best (and least wasteful) use of what the other critters of the world offer.


Christy W said…
I love reading your blog!!