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scottishwolf
17-11-2009, 01:12
Lets just say I have a fair bit of ray, shark and dogfish skin. All still on the fish and is getting dealt with tomorrow but I usually throw it away. I make lots of leather sheaths etc and wondered if there is any way I can cure it to use as inlays on sheaths or patches to add to the outside of pouches etc?

chaaers, Davie

dogwood
17-11-2009, 01:54
Cool!

Ray and shark skin make amazing leather -- and remember that they were also both used for the wrapped handles of samurai swords too, so you might have a nice wrap for a knife.

I've never tanned fish hide, but from what I know, the key is to get the existing fish oils out. Urine has traditionally been used (just like dog poop has been used to bate cow and deer hides.... tanning can be an olfactory adventure sometimes, although it's better now than in the old days....)

Here is one traditional recipe:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_tan_fish_skin

Here's another (about midway down the thread):

http://www.ausfish.com.au/vforum/archive/index.php/t-113185.html

Taxidermy supply houses typically sell kits to tan fish skin -- so you might look online to see what you can find in UK taxidermy.

By the way, if anyone has salmon skin, it can be tanned into a nice leather too.

And for really amazing leather: bullfrogs. It's not very big, but it's fabulous stuff when you tan it yourself....

If you can, please post a follow-up with your experiences. I for one would love to read/see it.

forestwalker
17-11-2009, 07:43
There is a book out on the subject (Lotta Rahme and Dag Hartman; "Fiskskinn: garvning och sömnad", 2006) but AFAIK only in Swedish. Apart from the urine methods it is also possible to bark-tan at leadt some fish skins. I can have a look in the book tonight and post some suggestions if you want.

I once talked to someone who had made some minor income tanning shark skins and making gear for the S&M crowd (spanking paddles with something extra, garments that hurts when you rub them one someone else, etc).

One more use; dry pieces and use as "sandpaper" (this was done historically).

Actually they are totally useless, send them to me and I'll dispise of them properly for you...

dogwood
17-11-2009, 08:43
There is a book out on the subject (Lotta Rahme and Dag Hartman; "Fiskskinn: garvning och sömnad", 2006) ....

Forestwalker, you're great! I'm so happy you mentioned her!

For people not familiar with her, Lotta Rahme is really famous in traditional tanning circles and is especially well known for her work with fish skins and delicate skins. She's got a web site too.

One of her books is in English but most are in Swedish. The English one is:

Leather: Preparation & Tanning by Traditional Methods
Hardcover, Caber Pr, ISBN 1887719008 (1-887719-00-8)

But I've never read it.

I'd love to hear her recipe for fish skins, Forestwalker, since she's the master of them.

I've been meaning to track her down next time I'm in Sweden as I've been told she's really open to visits to her workshop.

forestwalker
18-11-2009, 08:03
I'd love to hear her recipe for fish skins, Forestwalker, since she's the master of them.

I've been meaning to track her down next time I'm in Sweden as I've been told she's really open to visits to her workshop.

I'll try to get time to look today.

BTW, she does hold courses in fish skin tanning... Check out her site at http://www.lottasgarveri.se/English.html