[Ansteorra] tanning rabbit pelts

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sat Jun 17 21:26:32 PDT 2006

If you end up eating the rabbits, here is a Florilegium file which  
might be of interest:
rabbit-dishes-msg (59K) 10/15/04    Period rabbit and hare recipes.

I'm not sure if there is a special technique needed to tan the pelts  
and keep the skin or not. I do know that in part it depends upon the  
particular animal. For instance, deer pelts do not keep their hair  
and if tanned they will continue to shed and you end up with loose  
hair everywhere. Since they sell rabbit pelts with the hair on them,  
I assume that this is not a problem with properly tanned rabbit pelts.

There are various types of tanning: vegetable tanning, brain tanning,  
chrome tanning and oil tanning. Some methods may be better for  
keeping the fur on the skin than others.

Depending upon what you wish to do with the skins, you might want to  
look through some of the files on leather in the CRAFTS section of  
the Florilegium such as:
leather-bib       (18K) 11/ 1/94    Bibliography on leather and  
leather goods.
leather2-bib       (9K)  6/11/99    Leather bibliography by Vilyehm  
the Merchant
leather-msg       (86K)  7/25/04    Working with leather. tanning.
lea-tanning-msg   (58K)  7/22/04    How to tan leather. Types of  
lea-tooling-msg   (55K)  6/26/05    Leather tooling. decorating leather.

merch-leather-msg (18K) 10/10/96    Leather merchants and sources.

Although this last file is aimed at reviewing merchants who sell  
leather, many of them also sell leather tanning supplies.

Looking at the lea-tanning-msg file, I did find this message which  
specifically talks about tanning rabbit skin and keeping the fur.  
There may be other more detailed messages on this, but this was the  
first I came across. Some of the books reviewed in this and other  
files might also be useful if you need more complete descriptions.


From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>
To: LIST Costume <h-costume at indra.com>
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 1998 7:42 AM
Subject: H-COST: Tanning Fur

This works up to about goat size.


Remove skins from animals within 24 hrs of killing
the best skins are from rabbits 6-8 months old, summer skins are not as
Remove the inner skin Start at the head
Pin it onto a board, pin about every 2 inches. Stretching slightly to a
    oblong shape.
Mix 2 teaspoons of Alum & 2 tsp of salt together well, rub into the  
When this has dissolved, remove pins & fold into quaters fur side out.
Put in cool place for 3 days.
After 3 days wash in lukewarm rainwater.
Wring dry and hang furside out in a cool place to dry slowly.
Everyday whilst dryinmg it should be taken down twisted, pulled and  
    to keep it supple.
Run oatmeal into skin whilst drying to absorb grease & damp
When quite dry brush both sides.


2 lb bran to 1 gallon (UK gallon) of water
Fold skin fur side in, immerse for 1.5 to 2 days
Hang on a line to drain for about 1 hour
Rub 2oz alum & 3oz salt mix in, fold in quarters and leave for 2 days
If all the salt/alum mix is gone after one day rub in some more
Remove inner skin and hang on a line fur out to dry very slowly
Again handle every day


On Jun 17, 2006, at 4:10 PM, lambdakennels1 at juno.com wrote:

> I have been gifted with five Californian rabbits and plan to eat  
> them if I don't find a buyer for them.  Does anyone know how to tan  
> rabbit pelts so the fur stays on?  If so, or if you are interested  
> in buying the rabbits, please let me know.  I am near Greenville,  
> Texas.
> Stephanie Smith, Ph.D
> Hunt County, Texas
> Owned by a Poodle and an Australian Cattle Dog
THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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