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Hide Tanning

South Lawn Tent

A four-day hands-on brain hide tanning workshop with Amber Sandy and Kanina Terry. Brain tanning is the art of preserving animal hides using the emulsifying agents in the animals brain, which helps break up the mucous membranes that cause animal hides to harden. Interestingly, each animal’s brain has enough enzymes for its own skin. Indigenous people have been using this method to make leather for clothing, adobes, and vehicles since time immemorial. Today, the tanned leather is used for clothing, footwear, jewellery, tools and instruments.

Participants will experience each step of the brain tanning process of moose and deer hides, including scraping, soaking, drying, softening and smoking. Participants will also learn how to obtain and prepare tools. To complete the hide tanning process, participants will work on the hides at various stages of processing

Hide tanning is laborious and messy. Additionally, this workshop takes place outside. Dress appropriately for getting messy and possible chilly weather.