Background

One does not have to go far back into one's family tree to find ancestor's who wore skins.   Each traditional culture records their own unique tradition of tanning for providing optimal protection from the elements of their ancestral lands.  Indeed as our first shelter, suitable and adequate clothing is often the foremost priority for any survival living situation.

Our Backyard Buckskin Workshops demonstrate traditional tanning methods with emulsified fats and oils so that you can use all-natural materials that are both readily accessible and sensitive to the natural environment.

Workshops available (click to find out more):

  • Fish Leather Tanning
  • Rabbit Pelt Tanning
  • Buckskin Tanning

To find out about upcoming workshops, visit the Calendar or sign up to our email newsletter.

Workshop:

Fish Leather Tanning

Description:

  • An introduction to tanning principles
  • Instruction on oil-based tanning
  • 1 day workshop
  • All materials supplied
  • Light physical activity

This workshop was developed as a single day introduction to backyard tanning.  Using household materials and easily accessible skins, fish leather is something that most enthusiasts can tan.

We use fish varieties that are easily tanned for beginners that yield a leather appropriate for making all manner of clothing accessories and craft projects.

Workshop:

Backyard Buckskin

Description:

  • Instruction in the traditional brain tan technique for tanning buckskin
  • 3 days of workshop including 1 day skin softening endurance workout
  • All materials and catering supplied
  • Camping accommodation
  • Maximum of 12 students per workshop

Deerskin nowadays is a by-product of hunting and farms, an oft-wasted resource that is the raw material for making buckskin, one of the most wearable, luxuriant and useful materials available.

Breathable, durable and insulating, clothing from buckskin is known as being able to withstand regular use for the rest of one’s lifetime.

Learning to use this resource is an art in and of itself, requiring responsive attention to the skin and it’s needs.  Many lessons in patience, perseverance and adaptability are the prizes for those who can see the whole buckskin tanning process through from start to finish.

Beginner students will process hides in pairs and each receive half a completed buckskin to take home.