You will need
- sodium, ash or soap;
- - branches of willow or larch.
For tanning fish at home it is very important to gently remove it. To do so, preferably with a freshly caught fish until the skin lost its elasticity.
Clean the fish from scales, taking care not to damage the skin. Then remove the skin from the head to the tail, carefully separating it with a knife. If possible, it is better to use a bone knife which will reduce the risk of cuts.
Now the main thing is to degrease the skin and to get rid of peculiar smell. This can be treated with a weak solution of sodium, ash or washed with soap and water. With the latest version of the fish the skin should be soaked in soapy water for a day, wash, then stretch it, mount it on a firm horizontal surface and gently peel with a knife from the inside. Then again wash.
Stretch the skin on a smooth surface (glass) and leave to dry until then, until it becomes hard and transparent. It will take about two days.
After all these procedures you can start the most time-consuming process – softening of the skin. Using can blunt the blade of an axe or large knife. Put the sandpaper on a wooden Board and lightly hit it for about 1.5 hours. Time of softening depends on the structure of the skin. In the end, it should be soft like blotting paper.
To preserve the elasticity of skin, moisten each cloth with a little water. After drying for 12 hours, repeat the process of softening.
To get a beautiful color, the skins need to prokopich. To do this in a tent build a fire from dry twigs of willow or larch, and high above him to bring pieces of skin. This process should last about 4 days.
After that the skin becomes soft, durable, elastic and has a beautiful unique pattern from the removed scales.
There are many varieties of fish skins which can be used as rawhide. These include pike, menek, conger eel, Moray eel, about 14 species of sharks, carp, salmon, sturgeon, Stingray, salmon and others. Soft leather pike, for example, produce clothing and gloves. Leather carp to be used as finishing elements. And from the skins of salmon, characterized by a special strength and durability, made shoes, handbags and purses.
Dry the skin of the fish away from direct sunlight.