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Using Curatan®

Curatan® Instructions:

Flesh Skin Thoroughly

  1. Rub in a generous amount of non-iodized salt. Hang or place skin on an incline overnight and allow to drain.

  2. Wash skin in Dawn dishwashing detergent and cool water to remove dirt, fat, grease and salt. Do not allow to soak longer than 10 minutes!

  3. Rinse in cold water to remove soap.

Pickle Bath:(optional acids)

  1. Mix Pickling Crystals to following ratio:

    1 gallon water

    1 pound non-iodized salt

    3 ounces pickling crystals

  2. Mix Ultimate Acid to the following ratio:

    1 gallon water

    1 pound non-iodized salt

    1/2 fluid ounce Ultimate Acid

  3. Mix Oxalic Acid to the following ratio:

    1 gallon water

    1 pound non-iodized salt

    1 ounce Oxalic Acid

  4. Mix enough water to free float the skins.

    Fox, Badger, Raccoon sized animals - 3 to 4 gallons

    Coyote, Bobcat, Lynx sized animals - 4 to 5 gallons

    Deer capes - 7 gallons

    Full Deer hides - 10 gallons

  5. Place hides in pickle for 48 to 72 hours, during this time the hide should be thinned down or fleshed thinner. A thin skin produces a soft flexible leather and does not exhibit shrinkage.


  1. Mix 5 ounces of Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) into 5 gallons of water, or a ratio of 1 ounce to 1 gallon.

  2. Place hides into neutralize bath. Light skinned animals should neutralize 14 to 15 minutes. Larger animals such as deer capes should neutralize 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Never leave the skins in longer than recommended!

  4. Remove skins from neutralize bath and rinse in cold water for 5 minutes.

  5. Hang to drain for 2 hours.


  1. Lay skin up on a flat working surface hair side down, flesh side up.

  2. Warm Curatan® to 100 to 130 degrees.

  3. Rub the warm Curatan® thoroughly into the skin side.

  4. Fold skin side to skin side and allow to set on hour before mounting.

Remove any excess oil from the skin with mineral spirits.

Capes may be frozen for later mounting. Simply fold skin to skin and roll up and place in a plastic bag sealed tightly shut.

Rug Making and Flat Skins:

  1. After applying warm Curatan® to hides, leave them laying flat. Laying the hides on screen wire or hardware cloth will aid in drying the hair.

  2. As the hide dries stretch and pull the leather to aid in breaking the hide. Use a dull thin edged tool to scrub and break the hide. Alternatively, use Van Dyke's Combination Tool. The longer the hide is worked the softer it will be.

Keep Out of Reach of Children.

For use by trained professionals.

Always use protective clothing, mask, rubber gloves and eye protection when using any chemicals.

Note: Van Dyke's Taxidermy Supply Co. offers these instructions in an advisory capacity and assumes no liability. Such information is the same as used in our own successful experiments, and since we have no control over the environment or the materials upon which our products or instructions will be used, no success is guaranteed. Trial must be performed to account for individual circumstances. In all suggestions, we recommend reading the formulas that have been provided for your evaluation. These are proven formulas that you may find beneficial, from the experience of other tanners.

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