Dying Soft Tanned Hides [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Dying Soft Tanned Hides

03-21-2003, 03:36 PM
I did some Koolaid dying of patches of fur I wanted to make zonker strips from. The colouration worked great but the soft leather was turned brittle rendering the fur useless for cutting into strips and making me glad that I had only tried dying test patches rather than the whole skin. Any suggestions? Has anyone else tried this? I know rabbit strips from the shop are relatively inexpensive but I have a couple of other hides that could provide excellent strips.

Dble Haul
03-22-2003, 01:18 PM
I'm sorry Don, but I've never tried this.....maybe someone else can step up and give you some help.

Good luck, and let us know if you get a handle on it. :)

03-24-2003, 05:52 PM
You may be able to get some info from the saltwater board. There was a discussion about dying feathers -- maybe some of the members know about dying fur as well. Good luck!


03-27-2003, 07:57 PM
Good News: It can be done!
Other news: It takes a fair amount of work.
Best bet is to look up "tanning" in any book that deals with taxidermy.
If you live in a larger city where there is a furrier, ask them and they can generally guide you along the process.
The way I do it is that after the dye has been set I squeegie the skins and remove all the wetness that I can, then I pin the skins on a piece of drywall/wallboard/rockboard and let them dry to about 90%. Skin up hair on the board.
Then I start a quick dry with a hair blower and last I "break" the skin over a piece of oak board that I fashioned with a semi circle at the top. Breaking means rubbing the skin side on the board like you do when shinning shoes. The edges will likely need to be cut off since they get harder as they dry from the heat of rubing back & forth.