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Skin Selection:

For us to supply you with a high quality end product follow these untreated skin procedures. The higher quality raw product supplied the higher quality product we will return to you. Damage is influenced by many factors, and the following guidelines will reduce this:

  • No big holes as these will increase in size throughout the process.

  • Heavy sheep may split at the neck, and some breeds (Merino) have a weaker skin structure and are more susceptible to some skin damage.

  • Select wool/hair length under 75mm (3 inches). See final note for any wool length longer than 75mm.

  • Shorter hair animals will tan more easily.

  • Proper preparation will decrease hair slip and other negative factors.

  • Please no domestic animals.

  • Wool/hair length over 75mm (3 inches) can knot up while being processed through tanning machinery. An extra cost of $50 per skin will be added for anything over this length. This is due to the high increase of extra labor involved when processing. This however does not guarantee quality of product. We may also reject skins due to wool length or thickness if we think there will be further issues with tanning.

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Take skin off cleanly, as our machinery will enlarge any holes or cuts made in the skin.

  • Remove skin as cleanly as possible avoiding holes and knicks.

  • Remove hooves, ears and head.

  • Remove the tail bone. If we have to remove the bone, we may charge extra.

  • Aim to keep the natural shape of the skin as this will result in a better finished product.

  • Cool the skin immediately as this is essential to prevent the rapid build up of bacteria. This will also remove blood and any dirt/hair. The ideal way to do this is to plunge it in a bucket of ice water. Prepare this before skinning. Alternatively spread and hose the skin or use a cool river if resources are limited. 

  • Skins MUST be delivered same day UNLESS they are preserved (see below).

  • Keep skins as cool as possible. Do not allow skins to overheat (especially in boot of car) this happens very quickly.

  • Roll the skin up - Fold in halve skin to skin then roll up butt to neck.


If you can’t deliver the same day you will need to preserve the skin to prevent the rapid bacterial action, which leads to wool or hair loss. The two suitable methods of preservation are: Salting or Freezing. This must be done as soon as the skin is off the animal as bacteria will begin to break down the skin immediately.


  • Make sure the water has drained off the cooled skin.

  • Spread a minimum of 2kg of medium grade salt over the skin surface, being careful to cover right to the edges.

  • Cattle Hides need a minimum of 25kgs salt.

  • Fold the skin lengthwise flesh to flesh, and roll up from butt to neck.

  • This preservation should last for two weeks.


  • Make sure the skin is cool and well drained

  • Fold the skin lengthwise flesh to flesh, and roll up from butt to neck.

  • Put the skin in a rubbish bag and freeze.

  • Do not roll up warm skins and put into freezer. They trap the heat and bacteria sets in while they cool down.

  • Like anything they will not last for ever in the freezer. They will suffer freezer burn after long periods.

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