Buckskin / fat tanning

- This course will be given by Dr. Theresa Kamper. She is a specialist in prehistoric traditional tanning technologies. -
Course language is English.

Before the advent of modern tanning agents, humans were turning raw skin into usable leather products using very basic techniques and materials.
Learn to produce incredibly soft, strong and durable leather from raw animal skin using one of human kind’s earliest tanning technologies! Utilizing materials readily available in the surrounding environment we will walk through the steps of this transformation. Come learn the progression of this process from raw skin to beautiful, usable, finished leather! 

Over 3 full days this course will focus on tanning deer skins with a variety of fat tanning which uses brains* as the dressing agent.
Whilst not for the squeamish the end product is worth the work! The class will cover removing the meat and fat (de-fleshing), removing the outer grain layer (de-graining), applying the tanning agents (dressing), softening and smoking the skins. 

In addition to enthusiastic instruction I provide comfortable, easy to use tools and detailed handouts covering the tanning process, as well as ethnographic anecdotes and a list of helpful literature for those who wish to further their own knowledge of tanning!
So, please join me for a course sure to contain plenty of memorable moments, lots of practical information and, provided that you put in the work **, one that will see you heading home with a beautiful, unique and usable piece of traditionally tanned leather!

* A brain substitute will be available for those who truly prefer not to use brain tissue.

** Please be aware that a reasonable amount of fitness is required for this course. I will provide instruction on good technique and timing with the skins, but you will need to be able to be on your feet and active for 6 to 8 hours per day.

If you wish you could combine this course with the Leather Clothing course that runs the weekend prior to this course. This way you not only learn how to tan a hide but also how sew a garment from your onw hides- a full package so to speak.
And / or even add the 'Natural Inks & Paints for decorating Buckskin and Leather' to the package that runs on Thursday 23rd.
All three topics are closely related and make for a good complete learning curve!

Or make it a whole week long course and also enlist also for the Using the Whole Animal course; and stay the in between day on location.


EXTRA info

Duration: Monday 10:00 am - Wednesday ± 16:00 pm), arrival on Sunday evening is possible.
Group size: min 6 - max 12
Prerequisites: no previous knowledge or skills needed.
Catering: this course is self catering, EXTRA provides coffee, tea and cookies
Accommodation: dormitories / group accomodation
Location: The Netherlands, North-East
Included: all needed materials, a hole roe deer hide, coffee / tea and dormitory
Not included: your meals


€ 375,= (tax included)


€ 95,=


Op dit moment niet ingepland. Heb je interesse? Vul dan alsnog het aanmeldformulier in, dan houden wij je op de hoogte.

Book now

Aanbod samenvatting

  • brain tanning / fat tanning technieques
  • all steps from raw hide to super soft buckskin, including the smoking process
  • difference between different fats used for tanning
  • understanding the tanning process
  • background information on tanning history, materials used in tanning



Theresa is an avid practitioner of traditional living skills and primitive technology of all ki