Home Leather Tanning Basics: De-hairing Skins

In this video I go over some of the basics of dehairing skins for tanning and rawhide.  What I mean by dehairing is removing the hair and the very thin epidermal skin layer which is only a few cells thick.  This is not the same as graining or frizzing as is done with buckskin and chamois leathers.  In those processes the grain is also removed.  The grain is the shiny smooth layer on most shoe leather, belts, wallets, etc…  In dehairing, that layer is left intact.  In fact, this video is mostly about insuring that the grain does stay intact and is not damaged in any way.  It is a simple process, but it is also easy enough to screw up if you haven’t already made all the usual mistakes and then actually learned from them (I’m appalled at the length of time it took me to put all this together now that I look back!  What a dumb ass! ;-).  Not all of these precautions are always necessary, but they are good insurance.  Liming comes before this step.  I haven't done a lesson like this for liming yet, because I do these when the opportunity arises, but I do cover it somewhat in the second video below.

Posted on January 16, 2016 .