Sheepskin Tanning with Bea; Part 1

In early April, I did the first of a two-part tanning workshop led by Meg Cur of Crow’s Nest Wildcraft. I am interested in learning how to tan because leather is such a beautiful material to work with. I wanted to learn the skills to process hides into leather as both a reclaiming of primitive skills and a way to physically explore the idea of a Fibershed .

20170401_174541
Meg Cur of Crow’s Nest Wildcraft shows off her tanned trout skin.

On a private property on Vancouver Island, we spent the weekend working with and preparing sheepskin hides for tanning with the wool on. Their were 10 folks there, all from very different walks of life and all very interesting! I was pleased to discover that two of the other participants were also fabric artists. Our intention was to have the tanning process half way completed by the end of the weekend, but the weather disagreed with us. Tanning is highly weather-dependent: the hides must be dry in order to tan, and if it’s raining they are so hydrophilic (water-loving) that they absorb moisture from the air. At the end of the second day, the hides still weren’t dry; so, we left them inside over 2 week to dry before our second weekend together. Unfortunately the second part had to be rescheduled due to poor weather!

We’ll be doing the second part in July — watch for updates of the finished process!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s