TANNING MUSKRAT SKINS—Will you kindly tell me how to tan muskrat skins?
“Flesh the skin and clean the fur by washing with warm water and soap, rinsing with clear water. Take a quarter of a pound of salt, the same of powdered alum, and half an ounce of borax: dissolve this in hot water and add sufficient rye meal to make a thick paste, and spread it thickly nu the flesh side. Then fold the skin lengthwise, flesh side in, and let it remain in a shady, airy place from one to two weeks, depending on the thickness of the skin. Then remove the paste and wash and dry the skin; if it is a heavy one, it may need a second application of the paste. After drying, pull it over a beam and work it between the hands until it is as soft as desired.” This method is for tanning all kinds of small furs. The muskrat skins will be all right after the paste has been on them a week. They should be carefully fleshed, and if the skin has been dried with flesh on it, soak it well in warm water before attempting to flesh it.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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