Fur Tanning

Our Fur Tanning Services

We sub contract fur tanning. This means that we personally do not tan the fur, but instead skin the animal and ship the raw skin to another small business that professionally prepares and tans the hide, and then they return the fur directly to you.

Because it is a subbed out service, OddArticulations, LLC, is not the one making the prices. We take a very small cut for our time skinning the animal and our shipping supplies, but the prices for the actual tanning is set by the business that tans the furs.

What Services are Offered?

  • Full Pelt Tanning: This is when the full animal is tanned. Including full body, tail, face, and usually feet. Price varies based on size of the pelt. You’ll need to include the type/breed of animal you’re looking to have tanned when submitting your quote request so we can get an accurate quote for you. Full tanned pelts will be soft and very pliable to the touch.
Feral Cat Full Tanned
  • Patch Tanning: If you don’t have space for a full pelt, want to save money, or want a slightly less recognizable fur memento we offer patch tanning. Most commonly this consists of roughly a 6″ x 6″ square of fur. Some families choose to put it in a picture frame without glass. This allows you to pet the fur while also keeping it safe.
  • Tail Tanning: If you’re only wanting the tail tanned, whether it be to use as a key chain or just a keepsake, the price is $35+ depending on the size of animal. It’s important to note that the tail will be sometimes be split to allow the tail to be properly prepared and tanned. This usually is not super noticeable if the animal had a bushy tail.
Tanned Coyote Tail Key Chain
  • Paw Tanning: A very small memento, but can be very meaningful. There are two options here- to get it just tanned, or to get it tanned and mounted. Just tanned will leave you with a hollow floppy paw- leather inside, fur outside (like the picture below). Mounting involves “Stuffing” the tanned hide to look and feel like a paw does in real life, like a “lucky rabbit’s foot”. I personally had my cat’s paw/forearm tanned and taxidermy mounted when he passed away. I’m so glad I had it done (I was on the edge at first if I wanted any of his fur kept). Prices start at $25 per paw and go up depending on the size of the animal. Keychain clasps can be added for a small fee.
Tanned Fox Feet Key Chains

Time Frame

I send Valley Fur Shed pelts in large batches a couple times a year. This not only makes shipping safer by having more frozen pelts together, but also drastically reduces shipping costs for you, as everyone gets to split the shipping cost. Valley Fur Shed works on pelts in whatever order he chooses, I have no say over that. If your pelt gets picked first it may be complete in as short as a month after he receives it. If yours is among the last of the batch to work on it may be closer to a year before it’s ready.

What is Fur Tanning?

Tanning fur is the professional way of preserving fur. It is a chemical process and yields high quality washable leather. It is not a home “tan” of borax or anything similar.

Who Tans the Skins?

The small business that we send the skins to is called Valley Fur Shed. They are also a one-man business that often shuts down commissions because they like to take their time on the skins they have to ensure the end product is high quality. They do an amazing job tanning, and work on many many pets, which is why OddArticulations, LLC has paired up with them to offer fur tanning services to our clients.

How are Furs Tanned?

Valley Fur Shed has a page dedicated to showing and explaining their entire prepping and tanning processing which you can see here. Warning, there are raw skins shown, so view with caution.

Possible Problems

Fur tanning is a much more delicate process than skeletal cleaning. There are many factors that can diminish the quality of the tan possible or make the fur not able to be tanned. These factors include:

  • ¬†Slippage. The fur can actually start falling out of the pelt if the animal has started to decompose, has been frozen and thawed multiple times, or if the temperature gets too hot. There are other factors that can cause slippage, these are just a few. Some slippage can be stopped, but there will still be bald spots in the pelt where the hair had fallen out.
  • Tears/Knicks during skinning. Both OddArticulations, LLC and Valley Fur Shed take our upmost care while skinning and fleshing the hides, but slight tears or knicks may happen. These often are very minor and are barely noticeable in the end product.
  • Shipping Delays. OddArticulations, LLC will pack the frozen pelts with our upmost care, and all frozen skins will be shipped following our very detailed shipping instructions that you can read here. Even with amazing packaging, delays in shipping do occasionally happen, and there is nothing we can do if the skin is lost or delayed and arrives unusable.

How to Care for your Tanned Fur

  • Keep the pelt indoors, in a room that doesn’t get excessively hot or humid. Over time, heat and humidity will degrade the leather and make it delicate.
  • Keep the pelt out of direct sunlight. Exposure to direct sunlight over long periods of time will fade the fur.
  • Avoid getting the leather wet. The tan used produces leather that is washable and won’t be damaged from being wet, however it will dry somewhat stiff if the leather isn’t properly “broken” (stretched) when it dries again. If the fur gets dirty and needs to be cleaned, don’t submerge the pelt. Instead take a damp cloth with small drop of dish soap, wipe the fur clean, wipe the soap residue away with another damp cloth, then dry the fur.
  • Shake out and brush the fur occasionally to remove dust and prevent matting if the pelt is frequently handled.

Payment Requirements

As with all of our commissions, OddArticulations, LLC only requires a $100 deposit to begin working on animals. We prepay the tanner, so instead of paying them directly you’ll only make payments to OddArticulations for tanning. In addition to tanning fees, you also will be responsible for shipping charges to and from the tanner. Because we send frozen pelts out in batches that charge is usually very affordable, and then return shipping for the tanned pelt is almost always $10 or less since that doesn’t have to be overnighted like the frozen pelts do. Your balance for tanning is due either when the pelt is complete and ready to return home, or when your other mementos (i.e. bone cleaning, partial cremation, paw prints, etc.) are completed- whichever comes first.

How to Get Started

Once you have read and understand the process above, you may go to our Inquires page to see what other services we offer and to request a price quote be sent to you. Make sure to include what tanning services you’re looking to have done (full body, partial, patch, tail, paw, or other).