Just like everything else in life, all tanneries are not created equal. Some of them will tan every species on earth, and produce a product with great stretch, clean hair, proper shaving, the best chemicals, easy rehydration and great shelf life. However, there are many other tanneries that produce specimens having very few of these desirable qualities.
The most important quality
If a tannery manages to provide great stretch, clean hair, proper shaving and easy rehydration but misses the single most important attribute, the result will be disastrous. I’m talking about shelf life. If your trophy isn’t properly neutralized during the tanning process, it will self-destruct over a relatively short period of time. This ruinous process could take place in as little as six months or up to a couple years, depending on the methods used at the tannery and the climatic conditions in which your trophy is stored.
Proper neutralization is key
Whether your skins are dry tanned or wet tanned, the process requires the use of some type of acid. There are many types of acid on the market today and readily available to the tanner or fur dresser. Regardless of the acid used in the tanning process, it is unfortunate the result is always the same if the skins are not properly and completely neutralized through their entire thickness. Not only is the neutralization process very critical, but so are the other chemicals used to tan your mounts, rugs, flat hides, pillows and such. Even though your skins may appear and feel dry to the touch, they are not. If acid is left unneutralized inside the skin, it will combine with the moisture in the surrounding air, resulting in an acid solution that will eventually destroy and deteriorate the skins and make them tear like tissue paper.
The right tanning agents are important
There are many tanning agents on the market, but not many can be used for taxidermy related skins. Mineral, vegetable, chrome and synthetic are a few commonly used agents, and there are various types of each. Improper use of any will also cause acid rot of the trophies you have worked so hard to obtain.
Use the right tannery
For the taxidermist, acid rot can be a nightmare. Imagine the consequences if the tannery you use did not provide properly tanned skins with a long shelf life. Improperly tanned flat skins and rugs will deteriorate while laying on the floor or over the sofa while mounted skins might last a little longer. In any case, once the hunter (your customer) realizes there is a problem with their trophy, they will demand answers, and replacement of these items can be very costly. This is something that can be avoided by using a well-established tannery with references to back up the shelf life of their product.
After all, the trophy of a lifetime should certainly last a lifetime.
[bctt tweet=”The trophy of a lifetime should certainly last a lifetime.”]