Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tanning Stage 2

Moving on to the next step with the sheepskins
 I needed a fleshing beam, there was instructions for putting together a fleshing beam on the site were I bought the supplies, I set out yesterday to get a soil pipe and used the saw horse to support the end I needed to stand at, the bottom of the pipe is butted up against a pile of logs

 Salted hide in place it was time to get stuck in with the fleshing
Holding the curved knife in both hands and standing at the top end, you work the hide pushing the flesh down

 You just have to keep working at stripping off the flesh moving the knife downwards then moving the hide over, it really works your shoulders and arms,
 It took me about 3 hours to flesh the hide, I was chuffed with how it looked after, I trimmed off the scruffy edges. I think this is how its suppose to look.
 Next the sheepskin had to be washed to remove the muck  and blood etc, a dunking in cold water then a dunking in warm water with soap, then rinsed out and left to drain
The solution was made up with hot water and left to cool before the hide was put in, it is now soaking in the solution and will be there for 3 days, On Friday I will get the fleece out and flesh the second skin and get that one in the solution.

 A couple of points
It wasnt at all smelly, just the smell of raw meat.
There was no problems with flies
It wasnt slimy  the salt draws out the moisture 
Fleshing really is not as disgusting as I first thought.
Having a curved fleshing beam makes the job easier 
Having the fleshing knife makes the job easier
The fleshing knife needs to be sharp and sharpen as you work.

I was asked in an earlier post what I was going to do with the skins, well a lot is going to depend on how well they turn out, I do like the idea of using them for sitting on when we are eating outside, we have planned an outside cooking entertaining area and having the sheep and goat skins to sit on will be great.


  1. Such a marvellous skill to learn and you seem to be doing very well so far. They do also make lovely little rugs - so plenty of uses I think.

  2. That is fab Dawn. Well done you. I can throughly recommend an outside eating area!

    1. we had a lovely one before looking forward to having another one

  3. Brilliant Dawn, you are so adept to turning your hand to anything.

  4. Looking like you're one very determined and talented lady...how lovely to sit outside on a beautiful day, or chilly evening under the stars, and snuggle up to your home done hides. x

  5. Better than my efforts years ago! But then I didn't have any tanning solution and my instructions came from a farming neighbour who presumably had never used it either and like me, had stiff fleeces!

    GREAT to see you this morning and see round the new land and the old. However, guess who came HOME with all the apples I intended to leave with you . . . Doh. I'll have to bring them up next week for you.

  6. I'm amazed. I thought it would be a much more difficult job.
    How lovely to use them for sitting on in the garden-x-

  7. Yet again you amaze me with your knowledge and willingness to try things. Anyone will love to sit on a lovely fleece.

  8. They look really impressive and would make great Christmas presents or for you to sell.

    1. perhaps when we have our own flock and I have more experience

  9. You make it look so easy! Hopefully I'll get to try it someday.

    1. It is fairly straight forward but it is hard work


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