How to Store Leather Hides

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Hides that are tanned and hides that have yet to be tanned have different storage requirements. Tanning hides acquired in the summer becomes a sizeable task when you factor in the work that will have to be done in sweltering conditions. It is probably best to freeze these hides until the autumn. Protect tanned hides from heat, humidity and pests by taking steps to create an ideal storage space. You won’t regret it.

Tanned Hides

    Store tanned hides out of direct sunlight. Sunlight will dry them out and will cause dyed hides to fade.

    Use a dust cover made of breathable cotton. The sharp edges of dust particles are abrasive to leather.

    Store flat, and encourage even support from one end to the other by storing long pieces horizontally. Avoid folding or creasing leather, as this will create cracks over time.

    Maintain the humidity surrounding your hides at 45 to 55 percent. Maintain a constant temperature of 65 to 70 degrees, but no more than 75 degrees.

Untanned Hides

    Flesh your hide before you freeze it or wet-salt it. This reduces the volume of the hide to save space. Hides are easier to flesh before they’ve been frozen.

    Roll and freeze untanned hides immediately if you do not plan to begin the tanning process that day. Wrap the hide tightly in freezer paper, put it in a plastic bag and place in a freezer.

    Wet-salt many hides at one time. Lay one hide, hair side down, and apply salt to the flesh side, at a rate of one pound of salt per pound of hide. If you can’t weigh the hide, you will know you have applied enough salt when you have covered every last inch, crevice, wrinkle and edge of the hide.

    Finish salting the first hide, then lay another on top of it and repeat the salting process. Allow the salted hides to sit overnight.

    Store these hides in an airtight plastic or wooden container. The liquid the hides release will cause a metal container to rust and will in turn rust your hides. After a week, empty any liquid that collects at the bottom of the container. These hides will keep up to a year.

    Things You'll Need

    • Leather hides
    • Cotton dust cover
    • Dark storage space
    • Freezer
    • Plastic bags
    • Freezer paper
    • Salt
    • Airtight storage container


    • If you are in a hunting camp and don't have access to a freezer, fleshing the hide and wet-salting it is the best option.


About the Author

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Dannah Swift has been writing since 2009. She writes about green living, careers and the home garden. Her writing has appeared on various websites. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a certificate in paralegal studies.

Photo Credits

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