TANNING AND MATERIAL                         

WOOD WOOL FOR NECK

FOAM MODELS

FOAM HEADS

CUTTING A BODY

In the early days skins were tanned and then rubbed with so called arsenic-soap, (sometimes also powder). This to protect the skins from being eaten by insects

Because these chemicals were not very healthy for the taxidermist, it was replaced by less poisonous chemicals in later days.

The tanning of skins is done, much the same way as in the past. Alum (a kind of salt) with a light concentration of formic acid is mixed with water inside a plastic barrel. When the alum has disolved the skins can be put inside.
Another way, as efficient, but more practical,  is the use of  alcohol (Ethanol or Isopropyl). The alcohol is simply put inside a thick plastic barrel, and needs no further attention

Both ways are meant to kill all bacteria who are causing decay.

Once the skins are tanned, they can be kept inside this barrel for many decennia, without the quality decreasing.

After the tanning proces, the skin is cleaned and all remaining flesh and fat is removed.
Afterwards the actual preservatives are used.
These chemicals protect the skins against fungus and being eaten by insects. Once applied the skins will last for a very long time.

There are several types of preservatives available. Preservatives for bird skins, preservatives for mammal skins, etc.
When taken care of well, a specimen treated in this way will easliy last for 50 years.
There are even stuffed animals fron the 19th century who still look great!

The material out of which the body is composed, can be made out of PU-foam, Tempex (polystyrene), wood-wool, which can be finished with apoxy (synthetic clay), clay or latex.





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