To ensure that I give you a quality finished product it is important that the raw skins I receive are in the best state possible. This is achieved by following these simple rules.
1. Firstly try and skin the animal cleanly leaving as much fat and meat on the carcass rather than the skin,as this is one of areas that bacteria thrive on.
2. Then the skin must be cooled down quickly. Bacteria will begin to break down the skin after slaughter which can cause the skin to become smelly and increase the possibility of the hair falling out. You can do this by hosing down both the flesh side and the hair side with cold water ensuring that you wash away any blood or dung that is on the skin. This ensures that bacterial action is minimised.
3. Salting. If you are out in the bush or nowhere near a freezer then the next best thing to do is to take plenty of salt with you. Ensure the flesh side is free of meat and fat because if it isn’t the salt will not protect the skin from bacterial action. Apply the salt liberally to the flesh side and roll it up skin inwards (hair out)and keep it cool until you can get home. You do not have to freeze a skin that has been salted. Now just send it to me salted.
4. Freezing. Once the skin is cold from washing roll it up and put it in a suitable bag and put it in your freezer. It does not matter how you fold it up.Once frozen it is able to be transported safely to me where I can thaw it out and start the tanning process. Take the skin out of your freezer, double bag it to ensure it won’t leak during transit. Put it in a box of some kind and pack it with newspaper to ensure it stays frozen for as long as possible.
If I receive a skin and upon starting to process it I find there are problems due to hair slip , knife cuts or human error which may affect the final result I will contact the customer to see if they wish to proceed. It must be noted however that most skins do have scratches and rub marks due to their natural environment and some may have skin issues such as dermatitis which can affect the final result.
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