MBWilson8541

Working with snake skin

Recommended Posts

I purchased some cobra skins from AmTan and wanted to experiment with a simple card holder wallet.

I have made numerous card holders already and wanted to try to add snake skin.

I have never used it and didn’t known if there were some basics to using these skins.

I am considering backing it with a firm veg tan, using my pricking irons, hand stitching and edge painting .

Am I supposed to treat the scales, apply a coating or anything?

I have done some reading up on other posts and this is what I have found so far, just not sure if it’s correct:

* Treat the scales with polyurethane 

* Cut from the backside of the skin

* No way to treat the scales to keep them completely flat

 

Thank you in advance for helping me with some pointers 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I myself have a large problem with some skins from animals that may have been killed just for their skins rather than food or controled culls, I understand there are now Python farms in the Far East where they are bred entirely for fashion skins which seems disgusting in this day and age

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@chrisash I agree entirely , but it doesn't answer  the question  :) 

I'd like to know too, as I have never worked with snake skins, mainly because they're so expensive here in Oz, and not always east to find.  

I do have some fish skins that I will one day try working with. 

HS 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

None of the fish skin I have, from Mermaid Leather in Esperance W.A. have scales attached.

From what I have read, there is no truly effective method to retain all of the scales, so removing them all is considered better than have a patchy looking finish.

Edited by Rockoboy
spelling errors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

don't know about Cobra but rattle snake scales start to fall off during tanning so I take them off if they don't, the hide underneath is shaped the same so it still looks like scales. And I eat the meat too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/19/2019 at 9:16 PM, chuck123wapati said:

And I eat the meat too.

Tastes like chicken no doubt ?  :)  In that case, does chicken tastes like snake? 

So it seems to be better to have the scales removed.  ,  and think carefully how to cut them according to the markings, colours and patterns on the skin ( all going in the same direction ? ) , so , you wouldn't want to make  too many mistakes either .  I do the same with Cane Toad skins. 

@Rockoboy I've had these fish skins for some years. A customer  just came to me and asked me if  I'd like some...yep. 2 weeks later, a large envelope arrived choc full of fish skins, assorted sizes & colours. I'll make something nice one day, been saying that for years :) 

HS 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Handstitched said:

Tastes like chicken no doubt ?

IMO it tastes way better than chicken!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Handstitched said:

Tastes like chicken no doubt ?  :)  In that case, does chicken tastes like snake? 

So it seems to be better to have the scales removed.  ,  and think carefully how to cut them according to the markings, colours and patterns on the skin ( all going in the same direction ? ) , so , you wouldn't want to make  too many mistakes either .  I do the same with Cane Toad skins. 

@Rockoboy I've had these fish skins for some years. A customer  just came to me and asked me if  I'd like some...yep. 2 weeks later, a large envelope arrived choc full of fish skins, assorted sizes & colours. I'll make something nice one day, been saying that for years :) 

HS 

 

1 hour ago, Mark842 said:

IMO it tastes way better than chicken!

Store bought chicken is way down there compared to rattler. Lol Do you eat the toads? Do they taste like chicken too? I've had frog legs they kinda taste like chicken or visi versa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chief Filipino ... He should weigh in on this one too- he tans his own rattlers as well- last I heard he was contemplating a Hawaii trip... As for the taste- I'll agree with chuck123wapiti above- tastes great.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

G'Day ,

@chuck123wapati They  do eat Cane Toads in Qld. and across the top end in the NT  ....apparently, but only the back legs , the rest is very toxic .But  I've never tried them never will.  I better not go too far off topic or we'll be exchanging recipes next....' a bit of salt, pepper, garlic.... or perhaps a nice dipping sauce...? '   :rofl: 

HS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Front end of a lot of snakes is pretty toxic too :) and the front end of Crocs..usually fatal ..
But..we're talking about Australia..so ..most of the fauna and flora is out to get you..

to return to the subject..

I've got quite a few cobra items, one in particular is a briefcase / writing case made ( outside covering of skins over wooden briefcase box shell ) from 5 heads ( 5 separate sets of "spectacle" patterns ) and skins..it's about 70 years old or maybe older, skins are stuck on and trimmed..they are thin..very thin..from where I did a small repair ( one was coming away at a corner ) I'd say , only about a half of a millimetre thick, if that..The skins have no "backing" of any other leather, and no coating of polyurethane or anything else, as far as I can tell they were just oiled..
I bought it for €5.00 ( in near perfect condition ), in a local "brocante" ( car boot sale / garage sale ) about 4 years ago, apart from that slightly lifted corner the skins are intact, no damage at all, but were a little dry..It looked like a child had scribbled a few biro ink lines on the thin pigskin lining of the box, I was able to get those off in about 15 minutes..The seller had no idea that they had a valuable "piece", and, fortunately, neither did any one else.. :)

I rejuvenated the cobra skins with a light coat ( rubbed in in the direction of the scales, which one can feel easily ) of neatsfoot oil and glycerine ( 50/50 ), let it dry, gave it another treatment..that is it.

Had some other similar "finds" at brocantes..most people cannot tell fake snake skin from real , if you can you can get some real bargains..likewise with Croc..picked up various items in Croc and other Crocodilia..all real..each time the sellers did not know..I did not tell them . :)

Edited by mikesc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2019 at 5:13 AM, mikesc said:

Front end of a lot of snakes is pretty toxic too :) and the front end of Crocs..usually fatal ..
But..we're talking about Australia..so ..most of the fauna and flora is out to get you..

to return to the subject..

I've got quite a few cobra items, one in particular is a briefcase / writing case made ( outside covering of skins over wooden briefcase box shell ) from 5 heads ( 5 separate sets of "spectacle" patterns ) and skins..it's about 70 years old or maybe older, skins are stuck on and trimmed..they are thin..very thin..from where I did a small repair ( one was coming away at a corner ) I'd say , only about a half of a millimetre thick, if that..The skins have no "backing" of any other leather, and no coating of polyurethane or anything else, as far as I can tell they were just oiled..
I bought it for €5.00 ( in near perfect condition ), in a local "brocante" ( car boot sale / garage sale ) about 4 years ago, apart from that slightly lifted corner the skins are intact, no damage at all, but were a little dry..It looked like a child had scribbled a few biro ink lines on the thin pigskin lining of the box, I was able to get those off in about 15 minutes..The seller had no idea that they had a valuable "piece", and, fortunately, neither did any one else.. :)

I rejuvenated the cobra skins with a light coat ( rubbed in in the direction of the scales, which one can feel easily ) of neatsfoot oil and glycerine ( 50/50 ), let it dry, gave it another treatment..that is it.

Had some other similar "finds" at brocantes..most people cannot tell fake snake skin from real , if you can you can get some real bargains..likewise with Croc..picked up various items in Croc and other Crocodilia..all real..each time the sellers did not know..I did not tell them . :)

Thanks for the info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2019 at 10:58 AM, Handstitched said:

I have never worked with snake skins, mainly because they're so expensive here in Oz, and not always east to find.  

How can this be? According to certain TV shows there are snakes eeeeveeryywheeere in Oz. Unless the crocs ate them...
Everyone here in Sweden knows this to be 100% true. 

Here have some Fosters, as that is your favorite beer as well (everyone knows this!) :cheers:    

:banana:

:P

 

Sorry OT...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@robs456   yes, there are snakes everywhere, but the skins are  not readily available . 

Thanks for the offer of a Fosters, but  Fosters tastes like sh* t, its  very rarely sold here,  thats why it sold  in the UK, cos' no-one else in their right mind would drink it  !!!  .:rofl:  

HS 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off topic:  P.S. , I forgot to mention, that too much Fosters causes a bloke to be....um ...... under performing  in the bedroom, aka  the  ' Fosters Flop ' .  :blush:  :rofl:

HS 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 11:09 PM, MBWilson8541 said:

I purchased some cobra skins from AmTan and wanted to experiment with a simple card holder wallet.

I have made numerous card holders already and wanted to try to add snake skin.

I have never used it and didn’t known if there were some basics to using these skins.

I am considering backing it with a firm veg tan, using my pricking irons, hand stitching and edge painting .

Am I supposed to treat the scales, apply a coating or anything?

I have done some reading up on other posts and this is what I have found so far, just not sure if it’s correct:

* Treat the scales with polyurethane 

* Cut from the backside of the skin

* No way to treat the scales to keep them completely flat

 

Thank you in advance for helping me with some pointers 

 

 

I'm not an expert by any means, but when I tan the skins some of the scales come off but not all. I then use acrylic resolene to try to keep the scales on with mixed results. If an item has limited bends and less friction the scales seem to stay on (though not a guarantee they will all stay). I've had smaller items that seem to keep the scales on better. The piece that seems to come off is the "sheath" of the scale, as for the feel it still feels pretty much the same though it may not be as defined. When I go back to do my maintenance routine I use neatsfoot oil on the snake skin just like vegtan and haven't had an issue. I personally like to back my skins with 2/3 oz vegtan as it can help the patterns stand out. Some of the skins I have are almost translucent so the backing can help. Attached is a pic of one of my knife sheaths with rattlesnake skin inlay. The top "window" layer, then the snake skin on top of another undyed layer of veg tan. The scales on this one have stayed on, though it does sit in my tub of stuff to sell so it doesn't see much action. I have a bracelet I made and the scale sheaths all came off, still looks awesome though. I've had the same thing happen with my python skins. I have not tried using a polyurethane but I would love to know how that turns out!  

1292965994_rattleedit.thumb.jpg.06d4c4886ef600dbead819de093fad5c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now