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Using Protal

Protal is an excellent tanning oil that may be applied to dry-tanned hides or tanned wet hides that have been drained. Protal is a sulfonated tanning oil that mixes readily with water.


  1. Once the hide has been tanned, remove as much moisture as possible; the hide may be spun dry or hung for an hour until it stops dripping.

  2. Warm the Protal to 90 to 130 degrees.

  3. Lay the hide out flat hair side down.

  4. Apply the warmed Protal to the skin; rub thoroughly into the skin.

  5. Break the hide using the Combination Breaking Tool or any thin blunt-edged instrument that is similar in shape. The longer the hide is in the breaking process the softer it will be.

  6. Let the hide set for 6 to 8 hours and work the hide through the breaking process again. Continue this at intervals until the hide is dry and soft.

  7. A re-application of Protal may be applied during this procedure.


  1. For a softer hide the use of a tumbler will not only speed up the process but will produce a more flexible product.

  2. Follow steps 1 through 4 in the above method.

  3. Fold the hide skin and place in a cool spot until the oil has been absorbed in the skin.

  4. Place in a tumbler with sawdust and tumble for 4 hours.

  5. Remove sawdust from the tumbler and tumbler dry for another 4 hours.

The use of a good grade of tanning oil is mandatory to obtain a quality soft skin or leather. The pickle process removes globular fatty proteins from the skin leaving the fibrous proteins or the structural part of the hide. Tanning chemically changes this fibrous protein from an organic compound into a stable inorganic compound that will not deteriorate. Tanning oils perform two functions:

  1. They lock the tannins into place on the structural fiber of the skin so they will not be washed or bleached out when exposed to moisture.

  2. They replace the globular fatty proteins that the pickling process removed. If the globular proteins are not replaced the fibrous structure collapses onto itself and turns rigid and inflexible.

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