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Removal of skin/ hide from frozen alpaca

(6 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by Queen of topaz
  • Latest reply from TopVeg

  1. Queen of topaz

    Apologies if this is the wrong place to inquire. We recently had a cyclone in our area of Australia, and one of my suri alpacas died. Due to all of the things going on at the time we popped him in the freezer, as we couldn't find a butcher at the time to skin him and we had no idea where to start. We are now ready to skin him, and then get the hide tanned but I am wondering if, once he is thawed out a bit, will the skin still come off properly so it can be tanned? Has anyone had any experience with removing the skin from a once frozen animal?
    Ta, Margaret

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. There used to be a tannery in Beverley & they developed a product called sheeptan for the hometanner. They did a trial of the product using some of our students to act as the tanners. We each had a sheepskin & rubbed this stuff in over a period of weeks. I have still got one skin which looks really good!
    The chemist(now over 80) from the tannery lives close to us - so I will ask him if he has any experience of frozen hides. A few years ago I asked him about tanning elephant skin (not poached!) - & he knew the answer - so keep your fingers crossed!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. pinkpoultry

    an elephant skin!! Awsome!! I would like (in the future) some sheep/cows etc, just a couple and when their time has come to go to the slaughter house I would like to send their skins to the tannery and keep them as I think its a good use of all of the animal-no waste!! Im interested to know what the person did with an elephant hide....xx

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Hi PP

    I think it was for a rug - though he did have a very old & battered brief case made of elephant hide - which looked lovely!
    Still on the trail for info on frozen hides!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. Hi Queen of Topaz

    I met the 'tanning chemist' who said the hide should tan OK - but the problem will be the hair. If you want to keep the hair on, & do not want the hair to drop out, you will have to defrost it carefully.

    I asked him how you defrosted an animal carefully - & slowly seems to be the key!

    Hope that helps!


    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. Hi QT

    following previous email - chemist has just sent this info:
    Frozen skins may be defrosted by leaving at room temperature on a table or by immersion in tepid water.
    Regardless of the method used for tanning, proper preparation of the skin is an important step. This involves softening, removal of the adhering fat and flesh, and removal of oil in the skin. Scrape adhering flesh and fat from the skin using a blunt knife or similar object. Removing all oil is essential for proper tanning. Working the skin in gasoline or other fat solvent is desirable to remove the last traces of fat. Addition of borax or bicarbonate of soda (about 1 ounce per gallon) aids in softening, and a little soap or detergent aids in removal of the fat.

    Also info on Salt-Alum Tanning if you want it!

    Posted 8 years ago #

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