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Mel of the Mountains

Brain tanning 3 day course at Mountain Readiness Expo

Brain tanning 3 day course at Mountain Readiness Expo

Regular price $385.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $385.00 USD
Sale Sold out

THE DEADLINE FOR THIS CLASS HAS PASSED. Email us if you're interested taking future classes.

Join us at the Mountain Readiness Expo pre-event hands on 3 day class!

Location: VanHoy Campground, 742 Jericho Rd, Harmony, NC 28634, USA
See the Mountain Readiness site for lodging information. 
Date: April 29th - May 1, 2024

Deadline to sign up and pay is April 22nd, 2024 to ensure that we have enough time to properly prepare the hides for students. Minimum age in 18. Maximum of 10 students.

Most of our ancestors wore buckskins on a daily basis, whether they were working class or part of the elite class.  Buckskins were as common as blue jeans are in modern times.  Societies from all over the world made and wore buckskins, including Africa, Asia, Russia, South America and North America. Buckskin clothing will outlast any material you can buy in stores today, and will probably outlast you and can be passed down to the next generation!

Come and connect with your ancestors by learning this ancient skill. Our class is a 3 day class which takes you through the entire process of transforming deer skins into buckskins that are velvety soft, supple, light and strong. You'll go home with the buckskin you make during the class. 

Brain tanning animal hides is an ancestral skill used to turn hides into velvet-soft, usable material which was then used to make clothing, containers, etc. Once the meat, hair and grain are scraped from the hide, the brains from the animal are used to form a solution with oil and water. The fats in the brain absorb into the hide, coating the fibers and are worked until the hide is dry. The hide is then smoked, which preserves the skin for long term use.  

We teach the wet scrape method and you'll learn these steps:

  • Fleshing
  • Bucking
  • Graining
  • Rinsing
  • Membraning
  • Neutralizing
  • Wringing
  • Braining
  • Softening
  • Smoking 

We provide the hides, fleshing beams, scraping knives and brain solution for tanning the hides. 

You'll need to bring a waterproof apron, and waterproof gloves.  If you don't have a suitable apron, you can use a trashbag instead. Dish gloves will work but some like this would be best: gloves.  Also bring shoes and clothes that can get dirty. 

The class fee is $385.  

Refund Policy:
Refunds will only be issued as a credit towards another class and will be good for up to one year from the date of the originally purchased class. Credit for classes cannot be used toward merchandise purchases.



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