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How to Tan Skins the Indian Way
     

How to Tan Skins the Indian Way

by Evard H. Gibby
 
This exciting Eagle's View publication explains everything you ever wanted to know about brain tanning as it was done by Native Americans. Brain tanning is the process of mechanically separating the fibers of the hide, lubricating them with oils from the brain tissue and making them water resistant by the application of smoke. It is the ideal method for home

Overview

This exciting Eagle's View publication explains everything you ever wanted to know about brain tanning as it was done by Native Americans. Brain tanning is the process of mechanically separating the fibers of the hide, lubricating them with oils from the brain tissue and making them water resistant by the application of smoke. It is the ideal method for home tanners.

This 32 page, fully illustrated book features clear, simple, step-by-step instructions for tanning all kinds of skins, with and without the hair. Methods described include: making buckskin (including fleshing, removing the hair, braining the skin, and breaking and drying the skin); tanning rabbit and sheepskins with the hair or fur on; and smoking the skins. Techniques for making rabbit skin ropes and rabbit rope blankets and a special section on primitive clothing are also provided. The appendices contain information on constructing many of the tools used and suggestions on tanning without brains.

American Indian tribes used brain tanning to process animal skins into useful materials before modern tanning processes were introduced to America. The tanned hides were made into tipis, buckskin clothing, bags and other useful items. Skins tanned with the hair on were used for blankets, robes and material for some clothing. Although early settlers considered brain tanned leather inferior to "real leather", this is not true. Skins can be tanned, with the hair on or off, without the use of acids or hazardous tanning solutions. Buckskin made this way is durable, light, and soft as flannel. In addition, brain tanned leather is far superior to chemically tanned leather for use in native American crafts such as beading andporcupine quillwork, or any work which requires stitching on leather.

The high cost of brain tanned leather makes learning the technique a very attractive alternative. This book will be invaluable to anyone interested in traditional skills of the American Indian or survival skills, and to those who enjoy making and wearing their own craftwork.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780943604336
Publisher:
Eagle's View Publishing
Publication date:
04/28/1991
Pages:
28
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.10(d)

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