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Traditional Crafts

Bark Tanned Sheep Leather

Course Overview

NOTE: This course has been updated to October 3-5. 

Tan sheep leather using natural plant tannins, oils, and some hard work. Bark tanning is an environmentally friendly tanning method that creates an extremely durable material. It is believed to date back 5000-7000 years. This method utilizes the tannic acid found in certain plant materials to create a bond with the protein structure in the skin, creating a molecular transformation that turns skins into leathers, furs, and tanned hides. Tannins can come from locally harvested plants, but for this style of workshop we’ll be using ethically sourced mimosa bark extract.

In class, students will flesh, lime, neutralize, bate, pickle, tan, dress, dry, and finish hides to end up with some quality leather. We will demystify all of the steps involved, making them approachable and understandable. The knowledge can be directly applied to the skins of other animals to continue on the leather making journey. Each student will take home one side of leather. 

Required Tools

  • Waterproof Apron
  • Rubber gloves- Like heavy dishwashing gloves
  • Rubber Boots

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

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