Authentically Handcrafted Buckskin Clothing & Wampum Weaving
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Frequently Asked Questions

About Commercial Tanned Buckskin

  1. What do you mean by "commercial tanned" buckskin?
  2. Is there any difference in the way your commercial tanned and Indian tanned buckskin clothing is made?
  3. Will your commercial tanned wear as good and last as long as the Indian tanned?

1.  What do you mean by "commercial tanned" buckskin?
Commercially produced in large batches.  Many hides are processed together in large vats for each of the cycles of the tanning process: pre-fleshing, depiling (dehairing), acid deliming, washing, dyeing, and tumble drying, as well as the actual tanning.  This european style danning process does not remove the membrane from the hair side like Indian tanning does, so commercial tanned hides have a "smooth" side.  Color is added to the otherwise gray mass of skin by dyeing in large, agitated vats.

Each hide is then lightly pull in each direction for a short time by a large machine (a process called "staking").  It then rejoins its "same batch" buddies in a large tumble drier until fully dried.  During tumble drying the hides shrink back to about their original shape and size.  When they receive buckskin from a tannery, quality-minded crafts people re-wet each hide and re-stake it by hand instead of using a dryer.  They work it until the hide is completely dry.  By doing this the buckskin won't shrink to its original size, and it eliminates most of the stretch from wearing that you normally get with today's buckskin clothing.     [Top of Page]

2.  Is there any difference in the way your commercial tanned and Indian tanned buckskin clothing is made?
There are two differences. First we pre-stretch commercial tanned buckskin to eliminate most of the "bag 'n' sag" you typically get with buckskin clothing today. Indian tanned buckskin is already stretched during tanning.

Secondly, we use slightly longer stitches on commercial tanned garments.  Our clients that buy commercial tanned buckskin clothing want, or need, to save money, but still want their clothing to be authentic. We have seen a few originals with slightly longer than our "typical" stitches.  We use these slightly longer stitches on commercial tanned buckskin clothing and accessories to save time (and price) in making an item while still maintaining authenticity to originals.  These stitches, though a little longer than those on our Indian tanned buckskin items, are still much shorter than used by most buckskin clothiers today.    [Top of Page]

3.  Will your commercial tanned wear as good and last as long as Indian tanned?
Yes, but, because the commercial tanning process leaves the membrane on the one side, commercial tanned buckskin does not "breathe" like Indian tanned.  Therefore, commercial tanned buckskin may feel hotter in the summer and colder in the winter than Indian tanned buckskin.     [Top of Page]

Copyright Jan 1999, 2015, Gary A. Reneker. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, programming, and coding are protected by U.S. and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission from Gary A. Reneker.