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Dressing skins is one of the first kinds of crafts mastered by man. This skill is very useful for modern people. Hunters are happy to store the skins of the killed trophies. People are purposefully engaged in the cultivation and slaughtering of fur-bearing animals for the sake of obtaining leather and fur. In agriculture, mass dressing of animal skin is carried out. Knowledge and practice in dressing skins at home will allow to get quality raw materials for subsequent processing - sewing clothes, bags and hats, making accessories and shoes, forming stuffed animals and fake, creating decorative elements.
Primary processing of skins
The choice of dressing technology depends on the species, lifestyle and physiological condition of the animal, the type and quality of the fur, age, sex and many other factors. Incorrect primary processing reduces the quality of dermal-fur raw material and shortens the time of its storage.
The ripened fur is magnificent and shiny, with a thick, uniform undercoat. Hair should be elastic and even, with well developed awn, do not fall out.
Before fur dressing begins, you should carefully inspect the animal's hair. Pollution and blood are washed off with a rag or gauze soaked in warm water with laundry soap. Collapsed and felted areas of fur are usually combed with a special brush. 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
Remove the skim and degrease. Degreasing is the process of removing all subcutaneous fat. It is carried out manually with the help of special tools for the frozen fat layer. Raw skins rule, giving them the right shape and symmetry, and then dried under certain conditions - high humidity and temperature, good air exchange.
In order not to spoil the fur and hands with fat, experts recommend sprinkling the workplace and skins with small sawdust.
Dressing skins at home consists of nine mandatory steps:
- Soaking. Initially, the skins are soaked for 24 hours in a concentrated saline solution. For 1 liter of water at room temperature, you need 4 tablespoons of salt without a slide. After soaking, they are turned out with a flesh outward and squeezed.
- Cure. The machine for dressing skins will help to remove high-quality and quickly. Mezdra is a subcutaneous fat layer of animals, it is removed with a blunt knife with a wide blade in the direction from the tail to the head.
- Secondary degreasing. At this stage, the skins are washed in a foam solution of laundry soap. The temperature of the liquid should not exceed 25 °. You can soak the skins in a solution of soap for 20-30 minutes. Then they are thoroughly rinsed in clean cold water, squeezed and turned inside out.
- Quenching or pickering. The solution for the preparation of skins is prepared from 2 tablespoons of acetic essence, 4 tablespoons of salt without a slide and 1 liter of water. The temperature of the solution is within 18-23 °. Skins that are turned upside down, immerse in liquid and leave them for several hours, stirring occasionally. For fine hides, the holding time is 6 hours, for medium-thick skins - 8-10 hours, thick skins soaked in a pickle for more than 12 hours.
- Exposure under oppression. During pickering, organic fat and collagen fibers are destroyed in the skin tissues. After pickering, the skins are wrung out by hand, folded 2 or 3 times and laid under oppression. Thin skins stand under the oppression for 3-4 hours, skins of medium thickness - about 5 hours, thick - 6-8 hours.
- Drying. Dry skins at room temperature away from heat sources, the fur should be directed inwards.For drying, special devices are used - regulars. You can stretch the skin on a sheet of plywood. Periodically, while the skin remains wet, it is removed from the stretch marks and kneaded by hand.
- Tanning. Tannins restore the structure of collagen fibers. After the procedure, the skin becomes softer and more elastic, does not tear and does not crumble. As a tanning agent, you can use a thick infusion of bark of oak or willow (per liter of water takes half a liter of crushed dry bark). The bark is poured into water, brought to a boil and boiled for 10-15 minutes, then insisted for one day. Infusion filter through cheesecloth and put a brush on the skin. Next, the skin is dried and kneaded.
- Fatty. For fat at home, a special fat emulsion is prepared. In 300 ml of warm water, you need to dissolve 50 grams of soap, 50 grams of fish oil, 10 drops of ammonia, cool the solution and add 500 ml of water to it. All components are thoroughly mixed and carefully, not to fall on the fur, are applied to the skin with a brush on the side of the skin. The treated skins are dried at room temperature.
- Finishing. Finally, the skins are crushed with pumice or fine-grained sandpaper, passing it along the mezdra in the direction from the head to the tail. If necessary, the skins are stretched and shaken. Now she is ready for further work - cutting, gluing or sewing.
Popular skin preparation recipes
The souring procedure is considered a classic option for the production of hides, after which the material becomes durable and elastic. Alum for the preparation of skins is prepared according to different recipes, using ingredients of natural and artificial origin - flour, malt, rock salt, soda, acid, sour-milk products. The acid pickling procedure represents an alternative to traditional souring. For the preparation of the pickle, acetic acid, salt and water are usually used. Instead of vinegar, you can use sulfuric or boric acid.
It is necessary to be engaged in dressing with a fresh skin. If the work needs to be postponed, then the skin can be salted by abundantly wiping it with salt, freezing or drying.
The recipe for dressing hides at home:
- If the dried skin, it is necessary to pre-wind, that is, soak it in a special solution (1 liter of water + 1 tbsp. spoon of salt + ½ tablets of furacilin + ½ teaspoon of vinegar). Skin should be completely placed in the solution, so it is put under oppression.
- The moistened skin is squeezed, stretched and creased according to all the rules. Then it must be washed to finally get rid of fat and dirt. One of the popular recipes for a detergent is - 6 liters of water + 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid + 2 tbsp. spoons of rock salt + 1 teaspoon soda. Wash with an effort, then you need to thoroughly rinse the skins, until the water is absolutely clean.
- For pickling, it is recommended to prepare the solution using 3 liters of water, 6 tablespoons of salt without a slide and 1 tablespoon of acetic essence. In the pickle the skin is aged for several hours, then it is wrung out and tanning is carried out.
- The recipe for a tanning agent is water, oak bark, 4-5 tablespoons of salt. All is mixed, the liquid is brought to a boil and cooked for 20-30 minutes. The ready solution is filtered, cooled to 35-38 ° and steeped in it skin for 6-9 hours in a row.
- After tanning, the skin is squeezed out and taken to the drying of the fur. The dried skins are treated with a fat emulsion made from hot water, laundry soap, salt, natural fat (pork, fish, lamb) and ammonia.
- From the surface of the masdra, remove the residues of the fat solution, stretch the skin on the plywood and wait for it to dry. The dried skins are removed from the stretch marks and kneaded, that is, slowly rubbing it between the fingers. Finish can be sanded with a scraper or pumice stone.
Dressing leathers and fur is a complex procedure, long and time consuming. Achieve the skill in the leather and fur business can only be working and studying. As a result of many years of experience, you get light, soft and elastic skins that look great, are pleasant to the touch and have a long service life.