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As treatment varies so much, it is impossible to list the operations a given skin goes through. Marten, for instance, has a tender skin and has to be given hand treatment. Mink and fox are treated in a Canadian fur-dressing establishment about as follows:

Fox   MINK


Wet with wet sawdust Fleshed

Salt water put on skin Dried

Broke in foot-tub Buttered or greased Tubbed

Cleaned with sawdust in Dried

Polished in drum with sawdust



Soaked to soften head


Flesh pickled


Drummed with sawdust

Greased and pounded


Drummed (sawdust)


Drummed (sawdust)

Stretched and beaten


"At the fur dressers' the skins ale first dampened on the flesh side with salt water and left all night to soften. The following morning they are placed

in a tramping machine, where they are tramped for eight or ten hours. The machine works about 2,000 pelts at a time.

"The pelts are next covered with a mixture of sawdust and salt water, and remain so overnight. The following morning they are cut open down the front and are then fleshed, one man being able to flesh 200 to 300 in a day. The skins are next stretched and hung up to dry. When thoroughly dry, they are again moistened with salt water on the leather side, remaining so over night. They are next brushed on the flesh side with animal fat—butter or fish oil and tallow—and laid in pails, with fur side out. After remaining overnight they are placed in tramping machines and worked for six or eight hours, or until thoroughly soft and pliable. They are then stretched in every direction.

"The next process is cleaning. The skins, to the number of 300 or 400, are placed with sawdust in revolving drums exposed to steam heat. They are revolved for about three hours, when the sawdust will have completely absorbed the grease. The skins are next incased in a beating drum, where they are revolved for two or three hours. On removal, they are beaten with rattans, and the

The Process

of Manufacture*

*An abridgment from Chas. H. Stevenson's report in that of the United States Commission on Fish and Fisheries for 1902.

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