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HughMungis

hide breaking with chemistry?

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So I'm about to start working my first bison hide (i've done deer in the past) to turn it in to either a really big soft blanket, or something like a robe. I've done deer in the past and breaking those hides was a real chore, so I got to thinking about whether there's a way to do this chemically.

I got to reading this chemistry paper on the hide-tanning process which was really interesting but 99% of it went over my head, but it got me thinking.

There are meat tenderizers in grocery stores (bromelain powder) and even some naturally occuring enzymes that break down connective tissue a bit like pineapple juice and I'm wondering if that would help any.

My question is: Is there a non-harmful bath or enzyme that I can put on my hide that will help break it while I sleep so I don't have as much to break when I wake up?

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1 hour ago, HughMungis said:

So I'm about to start working my first bison hide (i've done deer in the past) to turn it in to either a really big soft blanket, or something like a robe. I've done deer in the past and breaking those hides was a real chore, so I got to thinking about whether there's a way to do this chemically.

I got to reading this chemistry paper on the hide-tanning process which was really interesting but 99% of it went over my head, but it got me thinking.

There are meat tenderizers in grocery stores (bromelain powder) and even some naturally occuring enzymes that break down connective tissue a bit like pineapple juice and I'm wondering if that would help any.

My question is: Is there a non-harmful bath or enzyme that I can put on my hide that will help break it while I sleep so I don't have as much to break when I wake up?

if there was i think it would be on shelves everywhere and on every hide tanning blog ever written. sorry no majic solution i have ever heard of turn on some good tunes open a beer and get to work i have found a lot of needless work goes into the process while the hide is still to wet for the breaking. If you do find one though let me know i have three elk hides and two deer in the salt right now.

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If there was an easy way, everyone would be doing it. And hides/leather would be much cheaper.

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On 11/3/2021 at 3:54 PM, chuck123wapati said:

if there was i think it would be on shelves everywhere and on every hide tanning blog ever written. sorry no majic solution i have ever heard of turn on some good tunes open a beer and get to work i have found a lot of needless work goes into the process while the hide is still to wet for the breaking. If you do find one though let me know i have three elk hides and two deer in the salt right now.

I got to thinking about this and figured I'd ask some people with more of a technical background. I called up a few universities and here are the ones that couldn't give me an answer:

University of Kansas
Wyoming University
South Dakota State University
University of Nebraska
Cornell
Stanford
Johns Hopkins
MIT

haha I literally called all of their departments of biology with this question and none of them had an answer. I'll update the list as I keep trying different states. I'm starting to think that nobody knows because nobody's actually tried different methods of doing it.

I think what I'm going to do is cut this spare deer hide I have in to strips and test out different mixtures to see what happens.

Edited by HughMungis

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