When my children and I went down the road to help the neighbors slaughter animals before Christmas… well… that’s a story in itself. You can hear me tell it here:
Anyhow, we noticed that the neighbors were removing the skin from the bull they were butchering and one of my sons said, “Dad – do you think they’d give us a piece so I can turn it into leather?”
I asked and they graciously shared a small piece with him. We asked if anyone there knew how to tan leather but they didn’t, though the farmer in charge told my son that if he made his little piece into leather, they’d give him the whole cow-hide next time.
Once we got home, I put the skin in the fridge as it was late. The next day we pulled it out and started scraping off the fat and flesh:
You can see all the knife marks from where the farmers sawed the skin off the cow, but overall we got a good, thick piece of skin.
After scraping we covered it in salt and let it dry for a couple of weeks. It took that long because it’s been raining almost every day and the skin just didn’t want to finish.
I know nothing about leather tanning and I can’t get most of the ingredients many sites say we need, but my son is now attempting to “egg tan” it.
No idea if all this mess will work, but we shall see. It’s an experiment.
If you’re really interested in tanning and leathermaking, Skillcult has some good in-depth info.