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Old 05-09-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
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Otter Pelts and Shrinkage

Ok stupid question but here it goes. Do otter pelts shrink in the tanning process?

I just got my otter pelt back from the tannery yesterday. Having to deal with three kids when I picked it up, I said "thank you for the work" and left without really looking at it until tonite. I noticed that legs were missing, but thought they may have had to cut them to tann it, so it didn't bother me. But then I kept looking at it and thinking it's smaller than when I sent it in. So I measured it and it is about 8-9" smaller. I think I got the wrong pelt, but want to make sure about shrinkage first.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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An otter will not have that much shrinkage or should it have lost all its feet, sounds like you were given back wron pelt.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Privateer6 View Post
Do otter pelts shrink in the tanning process?
Privateer,

One of my closest friends is a trapper and tanner. Last month he trapped 3 otter and 3 beaver before the season closed. I have watched the progress of his tanning of the 6 hides.

For the beaver he stretches them in a circle using nails on a board. For the otter he stretches them on a long plank before tanning them. For this set of 6 pelts he used commercial tanning solutions.

He cut the feet off and said they can be sewn together to even the pelt. Once the otter were fully tanned, I did not notice any shrinkage at all.

I can say all his otter are a beautiful dark brown. He is also teaching his 10-year old son the art of trapping and tanning so that this skill can be carried on for another generation.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Privateer6 View Post
Ok stupid question but here it goes. Do otter pelts shrink in the tanning process?

I just got my otter pelt back from the tannery yesterday. Having to deal with three kids when I picked it up, I said "thank you for the work" and left without really looking at it until tonite. I noticed that legs were missing, but thought they may have had to cut them to tann it, so it didn't bother me. But then I kept looking at it and thinking it's smaller than when I sent it in. So I measured it and it is about 8-9" smaller. I think I got the wrong pelt, but want to make sure about shrinkage first.
You got ripped offffff real bad, the tanner, DID you know him or just look him up??

There are a few cases were the tanner will get a good price for a skin that is nearly complete and they wil sometimes cheat in the hope that no one complains. I went through that last year with a bear skin down in Vermont,,, he gave back a skin minus the head and lega, all the claws were gone too.

So now I stretch them myself, coat them in borax to get rid of the moisture and then use a sander and get rid of the excess crap on the back of the skin and then pull it over the curved section of a plastic pail to soften it. Now when I look I know it is my skin and not a substitute! Be Real Careful. Fnd ways of secure Tanners that do not cheat. Their reputation can be followed to, heck even start a thread here on the good and bad ones, help others!
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Privateer6 View Post
Ok stupid question but here it goes. Do otter pelts shrink in the tanning process?

I just got my otter pelt back from the tannery yesterday. Having to deal with three kids when I picked it up, I said "thank you for the work" and left without really looking at it until tonite. I noticed that legs were missing, but thought they may have had to cut them to tann it, so it didn't bother me. But then I kept looking at it and thinking it's smaller than when I sent it in. So I measured it and it is about 8-9" smaller. I think I got the wrong pelt, but want to make sure about shrinkage first.
You got ripped offffff real bad, the tanner, DID you know him or just look him up??

There are a few cases were the tanner will get a good price for a skin that is nearly complete and they wil sometimes cheat in the hope that no one complains. I went through that last year with a bear skin down in Vermont,,, he gave back a skin minus the head and lega, all the claws were gone too.

So now I stretch them myself, coat them in borax to get rid of the moisture and then use a sander and get rid of the excess crap on the back of the skin and then pull it over the curved section of a plastic pail to soften it. Now when I look I know it is my skin and not a substitute! Be Real Careful. Find ways of secure Tanners that do not cheat. Their reputation can be followed to, heck even start a thread here on the good and bad ones, help others!
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Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:46 PM   #6
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Private,

I had a chance to visit my friend last night about your situation. He said his hides have minimal shrinkage but it IS possible for hides to shrink drastically depending on the solution that is used when they're pickled.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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He said his hides have minimal shrinkage but it IS possible for hides to shrink drastically depending on the solution that is used when they're pickled.

This is all coming to me now.

I was 5' 9 1/2" when I was in my twenties. I drank my share of beer, wine & spirits during my lifetime. I am now 5' 8" tall. Those spirits must've pickled me as I have a height shrinkage of 1 1/2".

Ayyyee. J/K
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I have a height shrinkage of 1 1/2".



When you're laying down???


Aye, j/k !!!!
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:26 PM   #9
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
When you're laying down???


Aye, j/k !!!!
Uhhhh I think that you shrink after getting hit on the head with a 25 pound sledge hammer for that last comment!!!

LOL

Good one!
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It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

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Old 05-12-2008, 11:08 PM   #10
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Don't think I didn't see that coming.

I know how everybody is.
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:28 PM   #11
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Hey hey hey! Fat Albert is taller when he is laying down! Dang! So did it (the otter!!!) just shrink length wise or did it get smaller across? I hope it works out!
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:59 AM   #12
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Ok here's the update. The tannery I used said that some shinkage does occur during their tanning process. They also said they double checked their records after I called the first time and it is the same pelt.
More later
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Ok here's the update. The tannery I used said that some shinkage does occur during their tanning process. They also said they double checked their records after I called the first time and it is the same pelt.
More later
A well tanned otter skin may shrink about 1 inch per direction of 1 foot, it there was more shrinkage that was due to exchange of pelts. Like I stated I brought in a beautiful 2 year old bear, with head and paws intact. The guy that picked up the tanned skin from him brought me back my skin,, I opened the pacage and found a tanned racoon skin in there, they argued and said that is what I sent! Now tell me, how does a 6 foot bear turn into a 2 foot coon minus head and tail and paws?????

I didn't say that the guy is located near Bennington Vermont either!!!,,,ooops,,,well all I can add is good luck! Did you have paws on??? Did it come back minus paws???
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:55 PM   #14
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Ok I'm back.
T.K. Yes I had my paws on when I turned it in, and they were gone when I got it back. the tannery was outta of Smithfield a short drive away.

Ok to make lemonade out of lemons, this new pelt will actually work better for my drop. The 60" was a little to long. But I was going to see if a friend of mine could use the 60" and trade him for a smaller one.
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