Monday, June 24, 2013

Leather: An unexpected, but most joyous farm product

One part of sustainability that we feel strongly about is reducing our waste. (See how we made that happen in our wedding HERE.) That means making the most of all the inputs and products on a farm. One skill I have been working at is tanning hides to make leather. My first attempt was with a lamb skin (wool on) that turned out pretty stiff. It will only ever function as a rug. My second attempt with a goat skin (hair on) worked out much better. As the pictures show, I was able to make the skin leather enough to wrap around my wooden djembe. I used wet scrape method, salted the hide, then softened with an egg yolk solution. We'll see how well the hair holds. My ultimate goal is to make a pair of buckskin gloves. We'll see how long it takes me to get good enough at the process. In the meantime, it'll be pretty exciting just to not have to throw away such fine looking hides.