Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On becoming a rug...

This summer I was fortunate to meet, in person, a gal I know will be a great friend and neighbor when we retire to New Mexico...Linda Carson of the 7MSN Ranch. Linda has a gorgeous ranch and a lovely home. In her living room, on the floor, lies a beautiful hair-on cowhide. It's so western. It's so country. When I saw it I "ooohed and ahhhed", tried desperately not to drool on it and asked all about it.

I'm still here in Washington, waiting for retirement and our move to the Southwest to our ranch in Corona, New Mexico. I think about Linda's cowhide often (and try not to covet it) and spread the word about "real rugs". Last week I got an email from my good friend Dorothy. Besides raising champion miniature horses, she raises sheep. In the email she mentioned they'd butchered three sheep. She asked if I would like the pelts...for rugs. Would I? You bet!

This weekend we picked up the pelts and saw some of the hard work Ron and Dorothy had done to get the pelts ready to be shipped to the tanner. It's a step by step process starting with a sheep (grin...)



Meet "Spot" (the big 'un), "Apricot" (uh, the apricot-colored one) and "Jazz" (the little gray one). They are my new rug-collection-to-be.

(Not for the faint of heart...) And, here they are, hanging in the barn.

After the flesh and fat are scraped from the hide, salt is applied frequently to dry the hide for tidier transport.



Dorothy dusts the hides with pickling salt to dry them more before packaging.



It's important to rub the salt all the way to the edges of the hide so it'll dry more evenly on it's way to the tanner.



The guys bag up "Spot" and friends and get them ready to head east to Quakerstown, Pennsylvania and Bucks County Fur Products.



Expected processing time: 2-3 months.

Shipping the pelts to Pennsylvania: $50.

Approximate cost of tanning, the machine-washable kind: $120-150.

Delight to our bare-naked toes someday in New Mexico: priceless!

5 comments:

the7msn Tuesday, January 05, 2010 2:50:00 PM  

Oh dear...I'm glad I never met the cow who sacrificed his life for my living room floor.

Those pelts are going to make some might fine rugs. And Bruce will know exactly what you mean when you ask him to go shake out Spot and Apricot.

penni Tuesday, January 05, 2010 3:29:00 PM  

You will love the pelts on the tile floors. And, even better, you know they came from a good family!

2Grandmas2 Tuesday, January 05, 2010 6:17:00 PM  

Wow, I knew the big one was going to be mutton, but had no idea they were thinning the herd down to none, or is it one. You will LOVE those as rugs. Until I got the pups mine was down on the floor and I loved wiggling my toes in it. Now, however, it would be eaten so it is packed away for a different time.

Breathe Sunday, January 10, 2010 8:08:00 AM  

I once skinned a critter (I can't even recall what it was). It was a disaster! It was about the size of a cat and it took me HOURS.

So I admire the skill it takes for sure! Those ranch days will be here before you know it!

Sandy ~~~ Sunday, January 10, 2010 1:19:00 PM  

Howdy Breathe! Welcome to my blog...so glad to have you along for the ride. Stop by often, someday I will be blogging from New Mexico and all the world will be right!

Folks following my blog...

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