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Hide Tanning & Parfleche Workshop

Have you ever wondered how traditional peoples make beautiful leather, or how they honor animal hides for a plethora of uses? Today, we'll take deer and elk hides that were harvested during the fall hunt, and honor them by making sure none go to waste. We'll scrape them clean, shape some into parfleche, a drum, and other rawhide tools, then follow an ancient recipe using eggs instead of brains to convert at least one of the hides into tanned buckskin leather.

This workshop costs $65 which instruction and lunch. If you would like to take home a salted green hide, you can optionally also contribute an additional $25 at the workshop or for a scraped rawhide, an additional $45. Please note that you will only start to process it during the workshop, then finish it on your own because we can only complete one demonstration hide together during the workshop itself. RSVP here but please go to the Wolf College website to register via PayPal, or call[masked] with a credit card, or send a check to the Wolf College,[masked]th St SW, Puyallup WA 98371 for this workshop running 12:00-6:00 at Shambala Farm north of Seattle near Stanwood WA. And finally, call the Wolf College at[masked] to arrange carpooling!

Workshop Itinerary

12:00 - Overview: Skinning to Smoking
12:15 - Instructional Tour of Work Stations
12:30 - Egging Prepared Hides
12:45 - Groups Begin Station Work (Fleshing; Wet Scraping; Dry Scraping; Softening)
1:00 - Individuals Rotate Through Stations at 15 Minute Intervals
2:00 - Lunch; Parfleche & Drum Making Demonstration
3:00 - Individuals Rotate Through Stations at 15 Minute Intervals (Softening; Parfleching; Smoking)
6:00 - Celebration & Optional Clean-Up Help

Finally, wear clothes that you can get super soiled and prepare as you normally would for a hike, including lunch, water bottle, 10 essentials, etc. and call the Wolf College at[masked] to arrange carpooling!

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  • Lacia Lynne B.

    Interesting, would this technique be appropriate for rabbit pelts or goat skin? What's the difference between the "salted green hide" and the scraped rawhide?

    November 26, 2013

    • Chris C.

      Hi Lacia. Exactly. We're actually going to do at least one rabbit and possibly work on a goat skin during the workshop. Also be taking a look at a cow hide as well as deer skins of course.

      The scraped rawhide is basically half-way through the process from raw "green" hide all the way to leather buckskin. Take a look at http://www.wolfcolleg...­ for a description of the process.

      November 28, 2013

    • Lacia Lynne B.

      Awesome, thanks Chris! Happy Thanksgiving btw, I'm thankful for what you & Kim do there and that I know you!

      1 · November 28, 2013

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