3 Days of learning the art of tanning using ancient methods to produce soft and highly durable animal hides.

Garments made and worn during the stone age would have had to be comfortable, durable and protective against the wilderness and this was achieved without the use of our modern day chemicals.

One very important product that was produced was known as Buckskin, much like chamois leather but thicker and stronger.
The tanning style we use is known as Brain Tanning where we use fresh deer brain to break down the collagen fibres that normally lock and bond together making the hide hard.

The native American Indians very much favoured this approach to tanning and one known indian quote was; 'when man makes buck skin he owns it with his soul', this is down to the pure physical effort that is exerted to produce such a wonderful natural material.

In todays world of primitive skills very few people have actually perfected this craft. We have the great pleasure and privileged of Thijmen Apswoude journeying this way from Holland to instruct this course for us here in Suffolk.

Day One
Understanding the hide and its layers. 
The History we know about tanning explained.
Beginning the tasks with the hide you have been given, this involves fleshing and graining to prepare the hide for bucking and rinsing.
You will be guided through each step of the process so you come away understanding how to measure your progress.

Day 2
Softening the hide through methods such as removing additional membrane and stretching hide during the drying process, this involves teaching you how to remove moisture efficiently through wringing the hide and mapping your way over the hide so you attend to the right place when it needs attending to.
During the day you will be introduced to concepts such as hide glue and the rawhide that the hide is naturally trying to become with out your efforts being applied.

Day 3
Revisit any areas that haven’t completely softened.
Introducing and using methods of smoking the hide, how to choose the correct woods and maintain the temperature required so hide stays soft and gains an even colour. Dealing with repairs required from processing such as holes that may have been created during the process and thoughts of how to appropriate the bucks into clothing and bags etc.

 Thijmen is a true expert and this will be a course and skill set you will never forget.


Course Location: 

Smithy Cottage, 91 Blackthorpe RoadRougham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP30 9JG, United Kingdom

Book your course here.