What are some homemade remedies for tanning

Tanning yourself


"Tanning" is the most important step in leather production and is used to a large extent to preserve the animal hides in order to prevent their decomposition and to stabilize them for their later use.

There is a lot of information on the Internet and a lot of literature with instructions for self-tanning. In any case, you should study them carefully and carefully observe all safety regulations and disposal regulations. The result of a tannery will usually always be better than a home tanning. Thick leather can only be split cleanly with a splitting machine and tanning barrels and fulling drums are not so easy to replace by manual labor.


The first step is to get the hides to be tanned. Please note the following:

  • Many foresters and hunters do not use the skin. It's rubbish for them. So ask there whether you can get usable hides. Game breeders, slaughterhouses or butchers can also be asked.
  • The skins should show as little damage as possible. Often hides are cut incorrectly and have too many holes for tanning. Therefore check beforehand as best you can for damage such as cuts, skin diseases or other skin damage.
  • The skins of males are thicker than those of females and those of young animals are thinner than those of older animals. Depending on the intended use, the thickness of the leather should be selected. For clothing e.g. B. rather thinner and for bags, shoes or boots rather thicker.
  • The fresh skin can be full of parasites. Therefore possibly freeze briefly to kill the parasites and transport the skins in closed and tight containers (buckets, bags, etc.).
  • The skins must be very fresh so that the decomposition process has not yet started.
  • Preserved hides, especially with dry salt preservation, do not show the skin damage so well. To do this, they must be rinsed well so that the salt is washed out. In the case of fur, there is also the risk that the hair will at least partially fall out.


Further preparations

  • Select the place of tanning. The great outdoors or a shed, garage, etc. are suitable places. Water should be close at hand.
  • Tanning is wet and dirty. Select suitable clothing (boots, apron, possibly gloves) and work at temperatures that are not too hot and too cold so that the work is also fun.
  • Dispose of leftovers from the flesh and hair removal immediately. This prevents stink and does not attract insects and other vermin.


The following are the steps to take if you want to tan yourself. However, this information is not enough to simply get started without experienced help. There are also often different ways of proceeding. "Practice makes perfect," and everyone has to find the best method for themselves. Depending on the size of the skin, the type of animal, with or without hair, the best way can be different.

Pelts are more difficult to tan than hides. Therefore, one should first gain experience with skins until one dares to try skins. Even then, you will occasionally find that the fur becomes bald.


For a complete workflow, see Brain Tanning.

The instructions start with the dry salt preservation. At the end of the description you will always be taken to the next step.


The work steps if you want to tan yourself

additional Information

Film about leather production


Leather production in a modern tannery.


The brain tanning.

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