How to stretch the skin? Work with real fur

Natural fur was used as clothing material in ancient times, when severe weather conditions told our ancestors that the skins of animals killed would be useful for making warm clothes and blankets. More than one millennium passed, and a person learned to make fur, dye, bleach, tint ... But the main achievement in this area was the tanning of leather and fur.

Natural fur

At the moment, the fur dressing process is automated, but includes all the same basic processing steps as thousands of years ago. Only in spite of this, natural fur remains highly valuable material, and the owners of its expensive species are materially wealthy and successful people.

Types of fur and their characteristic features

Depending on the type of animal, fur is divided into:

  • beaver fur (quite warm and moisture resistant material);
  • otter fur (one of the most wear-resistant);
  • raccoon fur (warm and very popular fur, relatively inexpensive);
  • marten fur (also warm, hypoallergenic and sufficiently wear-resistant material);
  • ermine fur (very rare, expensive and not the most practical option);
  • karakul (expensive material with an unusual color);
  • fox fur (beautiful and practical material);
  • seal fur (unpretentious in leaving, suitable option for very low temperature);
  • mink fur (beautiful, moisture resistant, practical, rather expensive material: the cost of 1 meter of mink skin is more than 6000 rubles).

This is not the whole range, there are other types of furs.

Mink Skins

Natural Fur Processing - Stretching Material

Now it is worth raising the question of how to stretch the skin or process previously prepared fur. To do this, moisten the skin. It is better to do this with a brush or spray gun. An important role is played by water quality. It is better if it is distilled - without various impurities of metals, chlorine and other elements.

How to stretch a skin

After this procedure, the skin should lie down for about 30 minutes. The exact rolling time depends on the thickness and elasticity of the material. It is very important not to allow excessive moisture - the fur should remain dry!

Skin stretching can begin at the moment when the skin is almost dry. Editing should be done in the direction of the pile. The skin is straightened and pinned with nails or safety pins to the board. When stretching, try not to damage the structure of the skin and hair. If the pile is long, then such material is attached with the fur up, and if short or medium length, with fur to the board.

Stretch the material should be strictly in a certain sequence: first, prick the bottom of the product, then the middle, then evenly pull left and right from the center and diagonally from the bottom up to the edges. After stretching, leave the product to dry completely. On average, this time is about a day. After that, remove the skin and leave it for at least 2 hours, for a bedding. It should be noted here that the more the wet material is stretched, the more it will shrink. Having finished talking about how to stretch the skin, you can proceed with other processing methods.

Fur Processing - Grease

Fur skins

Oiling is necessary only if the elasticity of the skin is reduced, then work with fur begins. To eliminate the dryness of the skin tissue after the drying step, before removing from stretch marks, wipe the material with a cotton swab or a small piece of a cloth soaked in glycerin. After that, leave the skin until the glycerin is completely absorbed, and only then remove from the stretch. This procedure will prepare the skin for cutting, make it soft and supple.

Then you can remove the material from the board, comb the fur and start cutting. Wavy edges should be trimmed immediately.

Fur color

If natural fur is very dirty, then it should be cleaned before painting, since the dye penetrates poorly into the contaminated hair structure. To do this, take an alkaline solution.

How to process a rabbit skin

The composition of the solution:

  • 2-3 tsp salts;
  • 1 tsp ammonia;
  • 1 tsp detergent;
  • 2 tsp baking soda;
  • 1 liter of water.

When stained, the Mezdra should be treated with glycerin or a greasy cream should be applied in order to avoid drying out.

Fur skins are usually dyed in darker colors. When painting in a lighter color, it will first be necessary to lighten the hair with hydrogen peroxide.

Paint the fur by placing the skin on a wooden board and securing it with pins or small studs. Use for this ordinary hair dye. Before the procedure, the fur can be slightly moistened to make it easier to distribute the paint. Exposure time - according to the instructions on the package. Wash off the paint, without removing the skin from the board, in the shower, then dry and raise the fur with a hairdryer. Most of the time it will take to dry the mazra.

Tanning hides

During drying and other procedures, the skin is subjected to mechanical processing, as a result of which the material becomes brittle and tough. Tanning strengthens the structure of the mink, otter, raccoon, marten and other animal skin, which occurs due to the penetration of tanning substances into the skin, which bind protein fibers. The skin after such a procedure remains plastic and soft, increases resistance to decay, to the influence of high temperatures. Also, the material perfectly tolerates the repeated exposure to water, coloring and subsequent drying.

Tanning can be done both with the help of chemicals and natural tanning agents of plant origin.

Consider one of the tanning methods. To do this, you need a half-liter can of oak bark, which can be purchased at the pharmacy. Pour it with two cans of water and bring to a boil, after which they boil for 10-15 minutes and leave to insist for a day. Then the broth is filtered and already cold applied with a brush on the skin from the side of the mezra and dried on spacers. In the process of drying, slightly knead.

This was one of the stages of how to stretch the skin at home.

Wear resistance of fur

An important indicator of the quality of the fur is its wear. The most wear-resistant is considered otter fur. Products from it will last 20 seasons without any restorations. In second place on wear is beaver fur, in third is fur seal. Products from the most popular and desired types of fur - sable, mink and Arctic fox will last 12, 9 and 7 seasons respectively. Least of all will be able to put on hare fur (1 season), longhair rabbit (2 seasons) and groundhog fur (3,5 seasons). You can also more deeply touch on the topic of wear resistance of some species and talk about how to process the skin of a rabbit, but the conversation is different.

Indicators of wear resistance of the fur:

  • hair strength;
  • mezdra strength;
  • bond strength between hair and skin tissue;
  • skin thickness and density;
  • the thickness of the epidermis and subcutaneous tissue;
  • the density of the hair, etc.

In turn, for example, the bond strength of the hair with the hair depends on the type of fur, the season of extraction, and also on compliance with the technology of processing the skins. So, during the molting period, the connection of the hair with the skin is minimal, therefore, fur should be obtained in late autumn. During this period, the skin has the best characteristics.

How to distinguish a fake?

Work with fur

There are frequent cases when real fur is faked with cheaper material. For example, marten, after giving the appropriate appearance, is given out as a sable, nutria as a beaver, and a mink is often replaced by a rabbit or groundhog.

In order to recognize the substitution, it is necessary to pay attention to the fur. For a beaver, for example, the remaining hair is longer than for nutria, and the undercoat is thicker. The fur of the rabbit is much softer than that of the mink. And the groundhog fur is of different lengths, in contrast to the mink, which has an ideally even hairline.


The love of most of us for natural fur is inherent in genes, from the moment when our ancestors realized all the advantages of wearing products made from it - softness, warmth and comfort. You can independently answer questions about how to stretch the skin, how to process it and make it beautiful. You can also buy finished material.


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