Tanning Animal Hides


Location – Cornwall. Three day course; Friday 9am – Sunday 5pm. All accommodation and meals are provided.

6th – 8th September 2019.

This is an ancient art that is quickly being lost within our societies, but which our ancestors would have used in the simple task of creating clothing for themselves. Many of us use leather products daily and yet the knowledge of how to make it is something that remains an ancient mystery for most people. This workshop will take you step-by-step from the beginning process of a skinned deer hide through to finished tanned soft buckskin which you can take away and use to make various projects from moccasins, to bags, to sacred medicine pouches.

You will each work on your own piece of deer hide, learning key processes such as; fleshing, bucking and graining, wet and dry scraping, how to brain tan (and other alternative agents; eggs, oil etc), how to smoke to preserve the longevity of the hide. We will also cover different sewing techniques, natural dyes, and some basic pattern making along with rawhide craft.

Each hide has been taken from deer harvested locally in Cornish woodlands due to estate management schemes and by using the hides, which would otherwise be thrown away, we are ensuring that as little of the animal as possible is wasted through the culling process.

The hide(skin) is just one aspect of the animal that can be used. We will discuss some of the other uses during this weekend but if you wish to learn and experience how the entire animal can be used so that no part is wasted, join us for our five day workshop which precedes the hide tanning workshop. Here we will share with you the methods used to process an entire animal; including how to honour the animal through ceremony, how to use bones for making cutting, fishing and sewing tools, the sinew and intestines for thread, cooking techniques for the meat, rawhide glue and musical instruments and various other tools and uses.

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