repairing wound hole in hide for tanning


October 5, 2010, 01:08 PM
Hi, I just got my first deer of the season a couple of nights ago. Last night while butchering it I kept the hide to tan it. Of course it has two 1" holds from my crossbow bolt going through him (dbl lung). I've been reading a lot about tanning the hide but I'm having trouble finding info on repairing the wound hole. Does anyone know if this would just be a matter of using some strong string to stitch it back together or super glue or what? Sorry but I've never done this before. Thanks!


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Mr Bernoulli
October 5, 2010, 01:31 PM
As a trapper when we have holes in our hides we use dental floss. So you can also use this or string depends on what you are doing with it... If you are leaving the hair on the hide to have something like a throw sew the holes up. If you are just tanning to make something like gloves etc having the hair off the hide dont bother just use the other parts you will have lots. Just curious what are you going to be using the hide for? Also are you tanning it yourself or having it done by someone else?

October 5, 2010, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the info. I don't have a purpose for it yet. I thought I might use it as a rug for my daughter's floor. I'm attempting to do it myself. From what I've read online it doesn't sound too complicated. Thanks again.

October 5, 2010, 01:56 PM
From personal experience, the first one is the one to try new things on, the 3rd on is the one you keep. Considering this, you may want to flesh it out and save it if this hide has a story to go with it. Plactice sewing and tanning on another hide.

It is not too terribly complicated but you may have difficulty with hairs pulling out (or falling out).

October 5, 2010, 01:58 PM
Did you save the brain for brain-tanning? Or send it off to a tannery? I've done both, and the tannery route is far easier.

I'd wait til after it's fleshed, and then just sew up the holes with a needle and heavy thread. I used a sail-repair needle (triangular) and bobbin; but i sail a lot and that was what i had around.

ETA: is this for fur-on, or fur-off/buckskin?

Mr Bernoulli
October 5, 2010, 03:52 PM
I would sew before. At the fur auctions they want you to sew before you dry. When they get your fur they take it throw it in a vat and tan it so the floss/thread stays in there. They may take it out later depending on what the article is being used for...

October 5, 2010, 10:30 PM
Good info Mr. Bernoulli. I started trapping at 12 yrs old. Started putting up my own fur at 14. Have bought fur/hides since 1994. ALL holes larger than a .22 should be sewed shut. In a tanning case the holes should be sewn shut befor tanning. If you soake the hide in salt water befor tanning DO NOT use iodised salt. (table salt) You will not be happy with the results. Use non iodised salt. Washing in shampo and using cream rinse gives a very clean and fluffy finish in the hair/fur. Good luck and don't be afraid to experiment. ( there's plenty of deer out there)

October 6, 2010, 01:40 AM
Sew all holes.
Thats how its properly done, and dont wait a minute, do it immediatly after you skin it, while the skin is 'green'.
Cut away any mangled scraps.
I flesh mine right over the stiches and restich if I have to.
I dry mine for storage and when they get dry, the skins gonna be the shape it drys in, open hole or cleanly stiched.

I'm glad you guys have 'skills' and others are learning.... I am worried about up coming generations. I teach mine, all right, but it's a big world.

October 6, 2010, 03:38 AM
Yes , always sew right after skinning. I use 3 lb. fishing line ( or leaders ) to sew holes in bobcats, coyotes etc...

October 12, 2010, 09:15 PM
Woops, apparently my subscription to this must have gotten turned off because I missed all the replies after the first one. I've since gotten another deer and both hides are in the freezer until I have the time to work on them. I haven't cleaned the fat and other gunk off them yet so I'm assuming at that point I need to sew the holes?

Thanks for the non-iodized salt tip... I bought iodized sea salt... guess I'll have to find the other kind.

What I'm having a lot of trouble finding is the alum. So far I'm finding that I have to order the alum through a drug store and it seems kind of expensive - about .50 an ounce. From what I've read I'll need 3 lbs for 2 hides so that's $16.00. I've checked grocery stores, walmart and the local farm supply store with no luck. Does anyone have an idea of other places I could find it? Thanks.

October 12, 2010, 09:43 PM
I would be interested in doing this. Someone in the know want to do a good write up with a list of things you need and then walk us through the process? I understand the theory behind sewing holes shut but could you maybe give us some pictures of the procedure?

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