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Clothing & Jewelry

Traditional Hide Tanning

Course Overview

Get ready to take a deer hide, soak it in wood ashes, scrape off the hair, saturate it with brains, stretch it while it dries, and fill it up with smoke. What may sound like minor madness is actually one of the oldest, and best, ways to make buckskin, one of the most useful handmade materials there is. This soft yet strong fabric is perfect for clothing, shoes, gloves, mittens, bags, backpacks, mukluks, moccasins, and countless other uses. This class will focus on the traditional method of “brain tanning” to turn a raw deer skin into finished leather. Hide tanning is possible regardless of a student’s size, gender, or strength – the most important attributes are persistence and determination. However, students must be able to undertake three very physical days with lots of arm work. At the end of the class, each person will leave with their own tanned hide. Participants may also choose to register with a friend and work on a single hide together, though both participants will need to pay tuition.

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

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