Whether you go rabbit hunting in the autumn or you breed your own rabbits for meat, you may be interested in preserving your rabbit skins. Rabbit skins can be preserved through drying and curing. Drying rabbit skin is a straightforward process, but it does take time.
Things you need
- Fresh rabbit skin
- Noniodized salt
- Wooden spoon
- Steak knife
- Mild detergent
Rinse a fresh rabbit hide with cold water to cool it. Make sure that all of the blood is rinsed away because otherwise it will lead to brown staining on the leather after it has dried.
Squeeze the excess water from the pelt. Do not twist the pelt or wring it. Squeeze handfuls of the pelt until it is no longer dripping.
Fill a bucket with 9 litres (2 gallons) of room temperature water.
Add 200 g (1 cup) of noniodized salt and 200 g (1 cup) of alum to the water, and allow them to dissolve.
Immerse the rabbit skin in the water. As many as six large rabbit skins can be treated in this solution at once.
Stir the rabbit skin in the water with a wooden spoon. This will allow the fur and skin to get thoroughly saturated with the water.
Leave the bucket alone for 48 hours, stirring twice a day.
Remove the rabbit skin from the solution, and squeeze it dry again. Save the bucket with the solution in it.
Rinse the rabbit skin in cold water.
Flesh the rabbit skin by pulling away the fatty tissue clinging to the pelt. It can be peeled off in one layer if you are careful. Use a steak knife to carefully cut away parts that stubbornly cling to the pelt. Be careful not to cut through the pelt when you do this.
Add 200 g (1 cup) of noniodized salt and 200 g (1 cup) of alum to the existing bucket of solution.
Immerse the pelt in the water again. Stir with a wooden spoon to saturate the pelt.
Leave the bucket alone for a full week, stirring twice a day.
Remove the pelt from the bucket, wash it in a mild detergent, and then rinse it in lukewarm water.
Squeeze the excess liquid out of the skin.
Hang the skin in a shaded place for a few hours. It can be hung over a bath from the shower curtain rail. Take the skin down when it is almost dry.
Pull the damp pelt between your hands, working with one small area at a time. This will break the leather and give it a soft, pliable feeling. This can take several hours. If the skin becomes dry and stiff, wet it with a damp sponge. Continue until the pelt stays soft when it dries.
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