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Author Topic: Oxalic acid ‘tanning’ - can I reuse mixture?  (Read 2339 times)

Raspberry Pie

  • Joined Apr 2022
Oxalic acid ‘tanning’ - can I reuse mixture?
« on: October 02, 2022, 04:14:02 pm »
Hi, I’ve currently got a sheepskin on its third day in an Oxalic acid and salt bath. My second skin is still under salt, waiting to be dunked… my question is, can I reuse the Oxalic acid and salt water for the second one when I take the first out?
The water looks murky from the dirt in the first fleece, but it’s only three days old, surely the ingredients would still work?
Never done a skin before but I’d like to be thrifty if possible! Plus I’m not sure I’ve got enough Oxalic acid left without buying more…
Any advice gratefully received! ;D

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Oxalic acid ‘tanning’ - can I reuse mixture?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2022, 12:50:14 am »
Sorry I can't help but I'm looking for someone else to know.  I've not heard of this method of tanning hides.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Raspberry Pie

  • Joined Apr 2022
Re: Oxalic acid ‘tanning’ - can I reuse mixture?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2022, 11:34:29 am »
I think some people use Alum instead of oxalic acid… I got the instructions from a combination of Way out West blog (smallholding in Ireland) and Yellow Birch Farm.
Salt the skin for 5 days (change the salt once if they were frozen)
Flesh it - scrape off fat and any flesh
Mix 1 cup oxalic acid and 1 kilo salt per 9 litres of warm water in a large trug, soak skin in it for 3.5 days, stirring once a day (I used this x4 in a fairly large trug)
Then rinse, and soak for an hour or so in soda crystals (1 cup per 9 litres again) to neutralise the acid
Then wash in Woolite
Dry it, on a rack / hanging - and stretch it as it dries if need be.
Rub in saddle soap and neatsfoot oil
Card the wool

It’s not proper tanning, more pickling, and apparently the skin is not very flexible or drape-y but ok for a rug.

I’ll see when it’s done I guess!


Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Oxalic acid ‘tanning’ - can I reuse mixture?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2022, 12:56:11 am »
I used to salt a lot of skins and send off for tanning. Then a batch of my beautiful Jacob skins worth £60 each were stolen with a friend's high end 4x4 when he left it with the skins and keys in.  No insurance payout on that one and I rather lost heart at getting skins tanned.
However, we have a large mole population which gets trapped every now and then and this method sounds worth trying for their little skins.  When I salted a dozen or so one year, the rats stole them all to line their nests - comfy baby rats  :D
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

 

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