Our Tanning Services Knowledge Base

FAQ for shepherds

Is there a minimum number of skins I have to send?

We can accept any number of skins. Each is tracked individually through the production process so you can be sure you’re getting back the skins you send.

When should I harvest my sheepskins?

Most shepherds will harvest their sheep in the fall, and we recommend setting a date before December to avoid molt and the felting that can happen as a result. Our shepherd’s calendar has more information on planning your year in sheep production.

How much will custom tanning cost?

Our pricing is on a sliding scale depending on size, age, breed, and wool length. You can find our pricing list here.

What are your turnaround times?

Turnaround times vary throughout the year, as sheep production is seasonal. See our article for more detail.

What do you mean by “all-natural”? What substances or ingredients do you use?

The specific detail of the process is propriety information; however, we can say that it has been certified organic in the UK, where it was first developed. The primary ingredient is a plant-based tannin that is estate grown specifically for the purpose. We use phosphate-free soap for washing. The other inputs are used in food production.

What are the finished skins like?

In a word: luxurious! We produce finished skins with a soft, shiny wool or hair coat and a supple suede back. The color of the finished leather is a warm tan or peach tone from the tannin’s color. The natural process of veg-tanning does draw the sinuous tissue of the skin tighter than in industrial chemical processes, so the leather has a denser feel (chemical processes create a more elastic or chewy leather). Naturally-tanned sheep and goat skins will soften and drape more with use.

Are the finished skins washable?

Yes, although we don’t recommend frequent washing (how often do you wash your leather bag or jacket?). You can wash skins on the gentle cycle in a washing machine or hand-wash in a bathtub. Refer to the product care page for more information.

Can you tan other types of hides like deer or cow, or hair-off process to make leather?

Our process was developed and optimized for hair-on tanning of sheep and goat skins. We can also tan alpaca hides using the same method. We are currently exploring offering other tanning services, so please sign up to receive our newsletter here.