Rabbit pelts can easily be processed. Using a few simple steps, a hide can be cleaned and dried to produce a flexible leather. Rabbit pelts are typically made into coats and have countless uses. Lucrative pelt markets exist around the world and often supplement the incomes of rabbit raisers. The soft fur of the rabbit is a great insulator. Follow these steps to process your rabbit fur and enjoy your finished pelts.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Animal hanging rack
- Water source
- Three cups salt
- Three cups aluminium sulphate
- Tanning container
- Dish detergent
- Drying line
Remove the skin from the rabbit. Hang the deceased animal from its back legs on the animal rack and carefully slit the hide around all four legs and the head. Using the knife, cut the skin form each leg to the anus. Carefully slice around the anus exposing two flaps, one front and one back. Pull downward with a firm tug, removing the skin from the carcase in one piece. This "green" skin is now inside out.
Rinse the pelt in cool water. Blood can permanently stain the hide and should be removed before it dries. You can prevent any blood from drying by soaking the pelt in cool water.
Prepare the first tanning solution by mixing one cup salt and one cup aluminium sulphate in two gallons of water. The container used should be big enough to fit the tanning solution and pelts, leaving room to stir them without splashing. Aluminium sulphate can be purchased at leather shops and outdoor hobby stores.
Soak the hides in the first tanning solution for two days. Stir every twelve hours and be sure that pelts are fully submerged.
Peel off the fatty under tissue that is loosened in the first tanning solution. Be careful not to pull all of the skin off, only what comes easily. The tough tissue left behind is the rabbit leather.
Prepare the second tanning solution. Mix two cups salt and two cups aluminium sulphate in two gallons of water. The container should be big enough to allow the pelts to fit and be stirred without splashing.
Tan the hides for one full week in the second tanning solution. Stir every twelve hours and be sure that all pelts are fully covered by the liquid. This second tanning fully cures the hide, making it a durable cloth.
Wash the pelts with dish detergent after removing them from the second solution. A gentle hand washing will re-fluff the fur and remove any dirt or leftover tanning solution.
Dry the pelts on a clothes line. Hang them with plenty of air circulation. After they are dried, you will be left with processed rabbit pelts that can be stretched and oiled to keep them soft and flexible.
Tips and warnings
- Aways wear proper safety equipment, especially when using aluminium sulphate.
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