From the tannery
Private tanning at Skyeskyns
Looking to get your own sheepskins tanned? Find out more about our private tanning service.
THE TANNING PROCESS
Your skins will be tanned using the same mimosa tanning process we use to tan our own sheepskins. This is a natural, environmentally friendly tanning method which eliminates the need for chemicals and reduces water and energy consumption. The result is often beautiful butter soft leather and the wool is unaffected.
Please note that results depend on the original condition of the sheepskin, the way it was salted, the condition of the wool, the stage of wool growth and the age of the sheep.
THE BOOKING SYSTEM
To secure your space please contact us in advance. There will be a £10.00 per skin refundable deposit to secure your booking based on the number of skins you will be sending us, bookings cannot be confirmed until payment is received.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01470592237 if you have any queries or if you wish to secure your booking and/or pay the deposit. We will forward paperwork for you to complete and sign.
When uplifting from the abattoir, skins should be transported in a sealed container so there is no possibility of leakage and accompanied with a printed notice stating “CATEGORY 3 Animal ByProduct (SALTED SHEEPSKINS) – NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION”.
You may need to arrange a licence to do this yourself.
SALTING AND PREPARING FOR TRANSPORT
The Lamb / Sheep needs to be skinned as soon as possible after it is slaughtered. The skin should then be left with the skin side upwards to go stone cold. It is important that no salt is applied before the skin is cold or it will generate red heat marks. The skin should be well salted, with at least a 3mm layer of vacuum dried salt (available from agricultural stores). This is slightly heavier grained than table salt but not as coarse as salt used on roads.
The skin should be folded with the wool on the outside down the spine and left undisturbed on a pallet in a dry, cool shed. The next skin can be laid alongside the first, spine to spine, with the third and fourth on top of these but across them and so on alternately. It is important to keep the skin(s) dry. The salt will be drawing moisture from the skin. Leave the skin as long as practical, ensuring it is not moved until it travels. This allows the curing process to commence. Bio-security regulations require any skins being moved to travel in a sealed compartment or packaging with a label included inside as above. There must be no possibility of leaks. Blue plastic storage barrels are ideal for this purpose and can easily be cleaned down and re-used.
If your animal is being slaughtered at Munro’s (John M Munro Ltd., West End, Dingwall) you should contact Bill Lovey to arrange processing and salting on 01349 862158. We collect private salted skins from Munro’s from August to January. Our own lamb skins are collected between those times. Animals slaughtered later than December are unlikely to produce a good result due to winter/spring wool growth and can involve more work dealing with unsuitable wool.
Please contact us prior to slaughter to book a slot for tanning.
If your animal is slaughtered elsewhere it should be salted as above and sent directly to us, in a sealed leak-proof container, (labelled as above) marked for the attention of Pete Winterbourne, Tanner. Please let us know when they are on their way.
Neither Skyeskyns nor Munro’s will accept contaminated skins. Munro’s no longer accept skins that have NOT been slaughtered at their abattoir. Skins should be presented as clean as possible. Remember that moisture and/or dirt will allow bacteria to multiply and cause decomposition. Wool that is not attached to the skin/s where the new rise has come through, could have much shorter wool when they are finished. Please check the condition of the fleece before you send them.
Whilst every care will be taken to produce the best quality of leather and fleece, we can only work with the raw material we receive and cannot be held liable for any skins that do not reach the high standards we aspire to. Where we have not selected the skins ourselves, or salted them initially, any failure may be due to circumstances beyond our control. If they come into us with paint marks or holes in the skins, they will leave here the same way. Please note this tannery uses Mimosa for tanning which is environmentally friendly. As a result the leather is slightly darker.
PRICES FOR 2020
For 1 – 4 skins……. £70.00 + VAT
For 5 – 19 skins…. £65.00 + VAT
For 20 skins and over, a 10% discount will be applied.
Full payment must be made within 15 days of notification of completion of work. If payment is not made within this time, the skins will go into our own stock.
The private tan instructions and paperwork can downloaded using the link below: