Tanning Deer Hides into Buckskin Leather - April 26-28, 2024 (Friday to Sunday)


Workshop Fee = $300 + GST per person

Minimum Participants 6        Maximum 10

Watch the Video from the last course (April 2023) here:  (159) Hide Tanning Course April 2023 - YouTube

This popular and  interactive workshop will provide participants with the entire process required to take an animal hide from freshly skinned, to soft tanned, using the dry scrape and Native tan methods.

Friday(10am start) we cover fleshing, dry scrape hair removal, and lashing to a frame.

Saturday and Sunday covers Native tanning (Brains and/or Lecithin) and smoking hides to completion.

Native Tan is one of the oldest methods of tanning hides.   We will be using “animal brains (or lecithin)” to tan the hide followed by smoking the hide to “set the tan” creating true buckskin leather on the inside of the hide.   

This is still considered one of the softest and most durable tanning methods even in our modern times.

This workshop is a hands-on student participation from start to finish.  

What to Expect

  • Due to the physical nature of this process, participants will need the stamina to steadily work at the hide to ensure success. 
  • Age minimum is 18 yrs old -  Permission may be given for 15 - 17 yr teenagers if they are working together with an adult.
  • It is possible for a single participant to be successful as long as they are diligent and efficient with the physical work to be completed from Friday to Sunday
  • All hides and tools are supplied.  An equipment list will be sent out upon registering for the course.

Friday  (10 am start)

  • Participation in fleshing a Deer hide
  • Lacing Deer hides onto frames for drying and de-hairing
  • Dry scrape a framed Deer hide
  • Discuss other methods of hide preparations
  • NOTE:  the group will work together on a few Deer hides to learn the process.  These hides may or may not be used for the tanning on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday Morning

  • Preparing the hides by removing membrane etc., with some general guidelines to making ready the hides
  • Discussion and demonstration on the safe handling of raw materials used in the process showing how to heat and prepare the tanning solution
  • Working the solution into the hides
  • Explanation of equipment and natural material options to prepare for the next step

Saturday Afternoon

  • Working the hides until tanned
  • Hanging and drying the tanned hides overnight.


  • Gathering the wood and materials needed to smoke the hides
  • Setting it all up and smoking the hides.
  • Finally, some discussion, tips and demo’s on sewing and working or crafting with tanned furs.

For more information please contact Dale at 780-305-6921