|The final stage of hide-tanning is to smoke the hide. This makes the
hide water-repellent and allows it to remain soft after it gets wet. It
also gives the hide a nice colour and smell.
I didn't get around to smoking the hide until June. I sewed the hide into a bag and sewed on extra fabric on the bottom to keep it away from the fire. I hung the hide and fabric bag from a tripod made of 3 poles in the back yard. I built a small fire in an old pot.
|When the fire was down to coals I almost smothered it with sawdust.
This creates lots of smoke but no flames. Then I put the fire pot under
the hide so all the smoke would go up into the hide. I smoked the hide
for about 10 minutes and then took the fire out and looked at the hide.
It was hardly smoked at all so I put it over the fire again. I ended up
smoking it for a couple of hours. At one point I turned it inside out to
smoke the other side.
|Here's the finished hide with the edges trimmed off. It is a nice warm orangy brown colour. It's not as good as I would like but I learned a lot from my first attempt at hide tanning and maybe I'll try again this year...|
Copyright © 1997, Judy Kavanagh -- All rights reserved
Last updated October 22, 1997