We’re in the beginnings of an exciting tannery project at Old Chapel Farm. Right now we’re working on sheep, goat, deer and cow skins and recently, even an otter that was found on the road.
We’re harvesting the tannin from our spruce and oak trees and softening the skins with animal fat, eggs and brains. Both brain and bark tanning are organic processes with no harmful or toxic chemicals involved.
In the years to come the tanning will expand on to the Out Of Eden project where there’ll be an example of a working neolithic tannery as well as an educational space in the large timber framed barn that is to be erected this spring.
Skin was always a valued and essential resource to people living subsistence lifestyles, and will be an important material in other areas of the neolithic settlement.
With a tannery based at the settlement, we’ll be able to continue and expand our experimental work in skin clothing. Come and learn how to do it yourself! – this year we are running the first course in tanning up at the settlement – a 4 day course in brain tanning deerskin – to make a soft fabric