TANNING—When tanning a hide or preparing it for shipment, do you scrape off the thin membrane from the flesh side? I was told to take it off but when I tried it, it would come all right for a short distance then it would tear through the skin. What is meant by the work “fleshing”? All trappers’ guides say “lake off all the flesh;” does this mean particles of meat that sometimes adhere to the skin?
The thin flesh membrane must always he removed for tanning, and should be removed from all furs intended for market except muskrat, from it is only scraped as far down on the sides and back as it appears loose. Your trouble is caused by letting the skin get dry before you attempt to remove it. You cannot flesh a dry skin; it must be done while the skin is green—fresh from the animal—when it will come off easily. “Fleshing” means removing from the skin all flesh and fat, whether in the form of a sheet or membrane, or email particles of fat or muscle. Fleshing is often done, by the inexperienced, after the skin is placed on the stretching board and if rare is taken can he satisfactorily accomplished.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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