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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Traditional Leather Hide Tanning plus Rawhide Drums

Saturday, February 25, 2017 Workshop from 10:30-5:30 in Puyallup WA

Tanning Deer Hide

Participant tanning a deer hide on stretching rack.

Have you ever wondered how to make beautiful leather traditionally, and how to honor animal hides for a plethora of uses? Today, we’ll take hides that were harvested during the fall hunt, and honor them by making sure none go to waste. We’ll scrape them clean, shape some into parfleche, a drum, and other rawhide tools, then follow an ancient recipe using eggs instead of brains to convert at least one of the hides into tanned buckskin leather.


9:30 – Arrive Early for Set-Up Learning
10:30 – Tour of Work Stations: Skinning to Smoking
11:30 – Egg Prepared Hides & Rotate Through Stations (Fleshing; Wet Scraping; Dry Scraping; Softening)
12:30 – Lunchtime Parfleche & Drum-Making Primer
1:30 – Choose Station To Work (Rawhide Parfleching, Drum Making, Scraping, Stretching/Softening)
2:30 – Hide Smoking Primer
3:30 – Rotate To New Stations
4:30 – Final Push & Leather Hide Smoking
5:30 – Questions & Clean-Up

Please note that this workshop runs through the traditional parfleche and tanning processes that good enough for making leather, but there are more advanced techniques that cannot be covered in one day. If you would like to process your own hide from start to finish, and personalize it with some advanced techniques, please enroll in our 5 Day Summer Course: Ancient Artisans: Classic Crafts & Traditional Technologies

Location & Costs:

This workshop takes place Camp Curran, 13220 50th Ave E, Tacoma WA 98446 in the Puyallup – Canyon Road area and please note that the turn south onto 50th Ave off of 128th Street is hard to spot but look for our sandwich boards if they are still standing. Costs for for this workshop are:

$95 general tuition, includes rabbit hide.
$85 per additional friend/family member.
• $75 to add dried rawhide deer skin or similar; includes tax.
• $65 to add frozen/salted deer hide or similar; includes tax.
• $55 to add 14 inch drum kit or similar; includes tax.

You can also purchase hides and drum kits during the workshop if you decide you want to take something home that we were working on. As you can imagine, there will only be time to start processing the hides during the workshop, so you will have to finish it later. You don’t need to purchase a hide if you just want to work through the parfleche and tanning steps on the demonstration hides we have set up at various stages in the process.

Registration: Who & How

Our weekend workshops are designed for adults, but youth are also welcome to register with an enrolled parent or guardian. Directions to meeting location and carpooling information will be provided upon registration.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 425-248-0253 and we will take your registration securely over the phone.

Check/Mail Registration Option: Send with a check donation payable to the Wolf College, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371 with participant name(s), phone number, email address, age of any minors, and any allergies or health restrictions we should know about.

Or Use PayPal to register via secure online donation with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account. Use the link below (might not be visible if you are using “reader view” on your phone or other device) or sign into and “send money” to our email address: (we’ll get back to you with any additional information we may need)

Register Now via PayPal: (account not necessary for debit and credit cards)
Participant Name & Age Range:
Cell Phone Number:

Or email us to be put on our our list for this program in the future. We always keep your information absolutely private, and will never share it. You can also like our facebook page to keep in better touch.

Refund Policy: If your registration is not accepted, you will receive a full refund on deposits. Otherwise, deposits are not refundable. If you cancel after making further payment, you may receive a credit for future programs, minus deposit, in case of emergency, although additional leniency may be given if you registered more than a month in advance. You will receive a full refund if the program you sign up for is canceled and not rescheduled at a time you can attend, except in case of natural disasters or other unforeseen emergencies making it impossible for staff and/or attendees to reach or use program locations, in which case all payments made will be held by us for future use whenever the program is rescheduled or whenever space is available in any future program of your choice. No refund, nor credit, is given if a participant is asked to leave for inappropriateness as determined by our agreements for participation.

Preparatory Information:

Bring lunch, water, work gloves, and wear clothing that can get super soiled for this workshop, and be aware that sparks from the campfire can melt your synthetic clothing, so natural materials like wool might be the best option. If you have materials geared toward working with hides, definitely bring those as well. Join us today and at any of our Weekend Workshops on themes of survival, wildlife and ethnobotany, and please contact us for carpooling information.