Page 15 - How to Bark Tan Hides and Skins
ISSUE : Issue 6
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1973/12/1
'J/Ju '''P'*- '?' '''* *o set outside the leg and drive down. That punches it right 'fL' Tf'?'??''''''''':; ?'? '?'' P"""?' for''ard, straight forward (working around the side). If It's inclined to break a little (that is, catch a bit of flesh) you punch up (coming from underneath the catch). My right hand is a lot better than my left. I fSir?' f?%'2 ' ""r Y'*' ""X ""'S'* '''?? ' g<' P's* *he center region. Then with the left all I have to do is just a little work. I start that side the same way and work S?'r''f''J?'' *'v '''' '' completely off the back. Then you cut the sSn awly't the back of the neck, just at the base of the head. ' Ann KacDonald at the Devco Sheep Project, Mabou, has been experimenting with chemi? cal methods of tanning sheepskin with the wool on. She is searching for ways to give "?t,""' '' • product with economic speed. She receives hides from producers all over the island and she said this about salting: Fine fishery salt is what I've encour? aged people to get. An even cover of salt all over the skin. This should be done on the tarm. This should be done as soon as the pelt is cooled after it comes off the animal. As soon as the body heat comes out of the skin. They shouldn't be salted hot. The summertime offers a problem; the body heat seems to stay in in the heat of the summer. We've taken some in and lost them • the wool slips off them if they're not properly salted. Too much heat and the salt won't have any effect. How to Bark Tan Hides and Skins Bark Tanning is the method that takes the longest time and is said to produce the fi? nest of leather. Wally Kendall tells how he • and his father before him • tanned with bark. Wally prefers yellow birch • "to my mind it gives you a lighter color and a softer nature" • but we've talked with peo? ple who'd rather the deep red of hemlock tan. Tommy Peggy MacDonald told us he used to mix the two barks for a lighter tan, and Neil R. MacDonald said he would use ! yellow birch for the first solution; and while people often associate bark tanning only with calfskin and horsehide • Mr. Kendall said it will definitely work with sheepskin, with the wool on or without the wool. He did warn that because it is a lighter skin, you would use less bark so as not to burn it. He used to make a kind of vest using sheepskin without wool for the vest Itself, the rough side to the outside. Then he'd half-line it with bark-tanned sheepskin having shorn wool • lining to the shoulderblades and down as far in front. It would stop wind, keep you warm and leave your arras free for chopping. CONTINUED CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE/15
Cape Breton's Magazine