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Fox pelt

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 22nd November 2009, 7:51 pm

A quick opic of the fox pelt I mentioned last week. This was taken before I scraped it clean & salted it.


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Post by GB on 28th December 2009, 7:55 pm

Looks good, how does it look now?

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 28th December 2009, 8:59 pm

Neat bit of skinning there, COTW. Would be keen to see more pics of the process.

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 29th December 2009, 2:31 pm

Phew. Now that Christmas is over I can update (a bit).

Foxy is now processed and I'm pleased with they way the pelt is looking. Sadly I lost the head and paws to fur slippage and had to take them off which was a pity but on reflection to be expected this time around, I'm inexperienced and perhaps ought to have used an alum bath (but I wanted to keep the fur on, so you see my problem!). Still the salt cure worked and the rest of the pelt has kept well with no other losses.

I used egg rather than brain tanning which was messy and only a bit whiffy but if you don't keep at working the hide while it dries it will stiffen up so you have to keep at it so that things stay soft and pliable. After that, following something that GB suggested I rubbed in some calendula and comfrey hand cream (don't laugh!). I've also been advised by someone who's done a lot of deer pelts to smoke it over a fire as a final 'cure' but at the moment that's not possible although I may do that later.

My final dilemma now is how best to make use of what I have. If I do make something I really want to try and use every last scrap so it'll require a bit of careful thought! The skin itself is quite thin but seems durable & I have some ideas already but more suggestions would be welcome.

I'll post up some more pics as soon as I get the chance. Have you made a start on your deer skins yet Billy?

P.S. Billy, I'll admit I used a scalpel to skin it and it still took me most of the afternoon to do (tendons are amazingly tough things, I really ought to have had the forethought to keep them for cordage but it didn't occur to me at the time). Anyway, I took my time about it partly to learn as much as I could but also because I figured the more care I took over the job the less flesh & membrane I would have to scape and peel away later, which proved to be the case.

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Post by GB on 14th July 2010, 2:53 pm

So, have you made something from it yet?

Reading about it makes me almost ready to sort out my squirrel skins. Have 5 of them from last winter in the freezer waiting for me to decide what to do with them.

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 14th July 2010, 7:33 pm

Not yet! I keep faffing about what will be the best way to use it (you know how it is - it's a precious thing and you don't want to waste it or balls it up so you sit there prevaricating over your options instead while the precious thing languishes in a bag & then you forget where you put the precious thing until suddenly one day you redisover it and the whole process starts again... Hmmm. Maybe I need counselling).

Anyways! The actual hide is quite thin so I've been thinking about laying it over a stronger leather base and perhaps making a bag of some sort. Or not.

This isn't good is it? I need inspiration! And to top it all you've just reminded me that I still have 3 rabbit pelts and a dead mole in the freezer. Oh dear.

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Post by GB on 14th July 2010, 7:49 pm

chickenofthewoods wrote:Not yet! I keep faffing about what will be the best way to use it (you know how it is - it's a precious thing and you don't want to waste it or balls it up so you sit there prevaricating over your options instead while the precious thing languishes in a bag & then you forget where you put the precious thing until suddenly one day you redisover it and the whole process starts again... Hmmm. Maybe I need counselling).

Anyways! The actual hide is quite thin so I've been thinking about laying it over a stronger leather base and perhaps making a bag of some sort. Or not.

This isn't good is it? I need inspiration! And to top it all you've just reminded me that I still have 3 rabbit pelts and a dead mole in the freezer. Oh dear.

Do you open mystery packets in your freezer and jump with shock at what you find too?

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 14th July 2010, 7:49 pm

Has it retained its colour well?

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 14th July 2010, 8:31 pm

Do you open mystery packets in your freezer and jump with shock at what you find too?

Not exactly, for me it's usually an exclamation of pleasure at finding something I'd completely forgotten about. Himself is 'slightly' less sanguine but much of it he is usually blissfully unaware of - occasionally I have reason to be thankful that he's no cook so not liable to explore the inner recesses of the freezer!

The colour of the pelt is still good and the texture of the fur is really lovely, very soft and pleasing to touch.

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Post by GB on 14th July 2010, 9:52 pm

chickenofthewoods wrote:
Do you open mystery packets in your freezer and jump with shock at what you find too?

Not exactly, for me it's usually an exclamation of pleasure at finding something I'd completely forgotten about. Himself is 'slightly' less sanguine but much of it he is usually blissfully unaware of - occasionally I have reason to be thankful that he's no cook so not liable to explore the inner recesses of the freezer!

The colour of the pelt is still good and the texture of the fur is really lovely, very soft and pleasing to touch.

I just recently opened the packet of rats I forgot I had put in the freezer. Ones brain, hands and reaction time tend to do funny things when confronted with things like that and the bags of feathers take up such room......................


Sometimes glad Mr GB is no cook either

And have you considered a pillow? Stitched onto fabric on one side for strength and something really soft and nice on teh other, like deep green or brown velvet?

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 14th July 2010, 10:56 pm

I have visions of you re-assesing the lunch menu after that!

I like the idea of a pillow, I wonder if I have any suitable velvet in the fabric stash? Hmmm. Will have to think on that.

Tell you what I did consider, and that was maybe a hat and gloves trimmed with fox - which would be kind of appropriate in a roundabout kind of way as my granddad supplemented the family's wartime ration coupons by rearing rabbits and after skinning & using the meat he made gloves from their pelts and bartered them. A very resourceful fella, my granddad.

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Post by Compostwoman on 14th July 2010, 11:07 pm

I have visions of a VERY swish "comforter" for around the neck, with deep brown or green velvet on one side and the fox pelt on the other..

probably because my gt gran had one, made as a courting gift by my gt grandad, who was a 'keeper.....

and I remember a painting of her wearing it..

I really do not like fur things but somehow, do not have an issue with fur that someone had made for themselves....

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