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Reindeer Pelts

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by CLEM, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. CLEM

    CLEM Full Member

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    I’ve had a real hankering for a large reindeer pelt for a long time now. So to you learned knowledgeable Shrafters where how how much and why???
     
    #1 CLEM, Dec 17, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  2. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    I'd love a reindeer pelt! A quick Google search shows them available online but they do seem pricey! I have a red deer pelt, which I use as a throw in my sofa. It's amazingly soft. I shot the deer myself a few years ago and decided to keep the pelt. It cost me a fair bit to have it done at the time but for memories, it was worth it.

    Maybe a group buy for interested peeps?

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  3. CLEM

    CLEM Full Member

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    Nice one Mr Wild, the fact that you harvested it yourself is what makes it special to you
     
  4. John Fenna

    John Fenna Lifetime Member & Maker

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    I had a reindeer pelt - they shed like crazy!
    I had to bin it or I would have had a divorce as the hairs clogged up the house....
    I now have "The Beast" and "Baby Beast" a blanket backed by patchwork of old fur coats and a piece of Desert cam cotton backed with patchwork rabbit fur coats - not so much shedding (but rabbit gets EVERYWHERE when you cut it !) so harmony and warmth are restored.
    PC210010.JPG P9010026.JPG

    The quality of mine may have been poor but I am wary of Reindeer.....
     
    #4 John Fenna, Dec 17, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  5. Bootfox

    Bootfox Tenderfoot

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    I have 2 reindeer pelts, one was free. Both were from when I worked with the Sami in the Arctic circle. One was a reindeer I dispatched and ate, the other was a treated and prepared “market” one that I bought.

    As above they shed if not looked after, you can’t use them as rugs or walk over, best using them as a wallpeice or as I have one thrown over the head of my bed.

    They are expensive online but probably the best way of getting on that’s ready to just throw over a sofa or something.

    I am trying to get in touch with a local university wit some fashion students to get into some kind of process of giving them Deer pelts that me and a few mates hunt for and them doing a project of completely locally sourced byproduct with minimal wasteage. But sadly all students these days seem to be hypocritical, vegan, granola eating, lefties.
     
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  6. Dogoak

    Dogoak Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    They are warm, nice to sleep on, but as been's said, most do shed, some worse than others. Sheepskins don't seem to have the shedding problem.
    The prices for Reindeer pelts are always higher this time of year, better bargains to be had in the summer.
     
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  7. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Pelts for indoor or clothing use are harvested at a different time than pelts for outdoor use.

    (Outdoor pelts are ok with shedding)

    Harvested early in winter - less shedding.

    Also the time between the harvesting and curing is important.
     
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  8. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    As Janne says, I was told it was all about the time of year the reindeer was killed and the pelt prepared. Unfortunately, the price also reflects the quality; you can double the price for a non-shedding pelt so, typically, over £100. From my own experience, I would stay clear of 'bargains' when it comes to buying reindeer pelts :)
     
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  9. CLEM

    CLEM Full Member

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    I was intending on just using as a throw over the sofa really.
     
  10. TLM

    TLM Nomad

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    Reindeer like other related beasts do not have very durable pelts because the the hair is hollow. Which makes it great for tying floating flies and in some cases stuffing. But Sami make winter overcoats which are actually fairly durable but that apparently depends on quite a few things, I'll have to ask more when going up north next time.
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    The pelts used for shoes and clothing were cured with traditional methods ( of course) from early winter pelts.

    Today, the pelts are gathered, then shipped to the factory. They really should be defleshed/scraped, and salted but I doubt that happens.
    the culling is done over several days, so the pelts lie around for a bit. Then have to be hipped to the tannery, which is not next door!

    The problem is twofold. Pelts taken late in the winter season:
    Follicles are 'maturing' and getting ready to release the old, winter heavy hairs
    Extended time between harvesting and curing - the follicles are starting to decompose

    A good quality skin/pelt hardly sheds and will last for years.

    Some 'tourist' skins are basically only dried. They scrape off the worst meat/soft tissue remains, then dry them. That us what many tourists buy, unfortunately.

    (I lived in that part of Sweden for several years, and many of my 'boys' were Saame. Have Saame friends in Norway. my cource of dried Reindeer meat and Hearts! )

    It is worth buying a quality pelt. The best underlay money can buy.
     
    #11 Janne, Dec 17, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  12. TLM

    TLM Nomad

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    Hair shedding is only part of the problem, the other is plain breaking and that is where the hollowness plays a large part. What you say about the collecting and tanning correlates well to what I have heard and read, I have no first hand knowledge except on floating and breaking.
     
  13. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Yes, they break easily. Highly irritating, as a piece can get stuck in your clothes. Or yourself!

    We used to have some pelts beside our bed, and I used to get them stuck in the soles of my feet.
    Wife used to laugh.

    If you look on clothing made from these pelts, they are sewn with a specific orientation of the hair in mind.

    Reindeer pelts were also used under the foot part of skis, in hilly terrain. Made skiing uphill easier. We used that tech in my days. Paleo tech that works.
     
  14. baggins

    baggins Full Member

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    we bought a couple from the knife makers in Karasjok in Norway (home the Norwegian Sami Parliament). They were really cheap (£40) and they're now used as flooring in the tipi. They do shed a little, but they're so warm. In fact, it cost us as much to buy an extra bag to fly them home. And they still have the ear tags on.
    But definitely go for ones from a decent source and be prepared to pay a little extra.
     
  15. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Yes, the Norwegian Saame have their Parliament there.
    The Swedish Saame P. is in Kiruna. Not sure where the Russian and Finnish ones are though.


    You paid a good price.
    If anybody wants a quality skin let me know, I know a couple internet based shops (in Sweden) that sell and send them! They even send to UK, but hurry up before 'B' as they will be more expensive for you after!
     
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  16. Sundowner

    Sundowner Full Member

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    EBay = type in
    Non moulting reindeer rug, 70 quid !!
    I got myself one a few month ago, worth every penny. I had tried 3 others and they were shedding like mad. This one loses 4-5 hairs every time I shake it. Lives in the car and it's exactly what I was after for my bushcraft chair. You even get to chose which colour you want. They're called
    Jdwoodleather in Keighley
    Let me know what you find?
     
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  17. CLEM

    CLEM Full Member

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    Thanks man, I’ll check that out
     
  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    If you intend to use it outdoors, make sure it has been treated for outdoor use. This basically means the leather side has been ( more or less) water proof.
    Two benefits: a wet skin weights lots, a wet skin will loose lots of hair, even if the high quality, early harvest one.
     
  19. Joe tahkahikew

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    Tíswìn slusipa

    In my youth we slept on many skins including caribou - your reindeer in europe . Good but not if they get wet or damp and dry out in warm. Then they start to smell after some time. It was hard work for the women to get them so good. Ha! I guess we weren't not buying or paying for them then!. Now only used without fur for jackets but still hard to make good ones.
     
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