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Hide work course - Making buckskin and raw hide

Hide work course - Making buckskin and raw hide


Course Location: Oxfordshire

Course Time: 19:00 Thursday - 15:00 Monday

Course Duration: 5 days

Course size: 10

Course Age Range: 18+

Call US: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days) / 07843 064114 (Out of hours)

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Hide work course - Making buckskin and raw hide

Clothing is quite correctly cited by many authors as the most crucial piece of equipment related to outdoors survival. 

This 5 day course is running as a component part of our exclusive Primitive Skills Year course which looks at combining an exciting range of practical stone-age skills in a sequential 10 module package. 

Here we are offering you the extra choice of simply cherry picking a singular module of this longer duration course and creating for yourself a focused look at exactly the skills you may wish to cover.  

Not that long ago in our species' story, everybody, everywhere, wore various arrangements of animal skins to protect themselves from a range of environmental conditions. 

Buckskin is most popularly associated with native peoples throughout the Americas and has to be one of the most fascinating uses of animal skin for clothing. By joining us on this five-day course you will discover and explore the methods of transforming deer skins into the wonder material that is buckskin. 

Your course begins on Thursday evening where you will be shown around your woodland camp and given the opportunity to set up your sleeping system. We conclude the first evening with an overview of the programme and the chance to see and feel some examples of buckskin craft items.

The real work begins the following morning when you will be introduced to your deer skin and guided through the initial stages of working it. The kettle will always be on for hot drinks and we will pause for meals each day around midday and 18:00. We will likely continue work into the evening as typical on our more in-depth courses allowing you the maximum amount of time to acquire hands on practice at making buckskin.

Throughout the remainder of the course you will cover the following skills after a formal explanation and demonstration by your instructor:

  • Fleshing - removing fat and flesh from underside of hide
  • Bucking - soaking hide in strongly alkaline solution
  • Graining - scraping away all hair and the skin layer immediately beneath
  • Rinsing - soaking hide in fresh water to remove alkalinity
  • Dressing - soaking hide in oily solution such as brains and/or eggs
  • Wringing - twisting all excess moisture out of hide using a tourniquet method
  • Softening - the fun bit! Working the hide by stretching, pulling and abrading until soft

Other skills you will cover during your course are:

  • The particulars of making buckskin and rawhide from various deer species
  • Using a fleshing tool and beam
  • Dry scrape method discussed/ demonstrated
  • Practical smoking methods
If you have any questions relating to any of the above please do get in touch.
  • Oxfordshire


    Nestling on the banks of the River Thames we have sole access to a 250 Acre Private Woodlands just outside the Village of Appleton, in Oxfordshire. With 125 Acres designated as SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) there is an abundance of flora and fauna. With a mixed canopy throughout the woodlands and a mosaic of habitats this woodlands provides us with amazing resources, with Oak, Ash, Beech, Birch, Hazel, Hawthorn, Cherry, Blackthorn and more. We have resident populations of Muntjac, Roe and Fallow Deer. Plus a huge variety of other fauna with almost daily sightings of Stoat, Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Red Kite and so much more. We operate all of our courses here for individuals to book on to, including our Woodland Ways Weekend, we also offer private bookings, school bookings, stag do's and corporate events.

    Toilet facilities are available my means of composting toilets and a portaloo. There are central covered teaching area's within the woodlands comprising of timber and canvas structures.

    This wonderful wonderful woodlands is situated within 45 minutes of West London and the local train station (Oxford) is less than a 15 minute cab ride away. Please ensure when travelling to the venue you use the directions and not rely on Sat Nav in order to prevent getting lost.

This course can be purchased as an 18 month voucher, to book online choose "18 month voucher" from the options above and we will email the details over to you. Alternatively if you are purchasing this course as a gift we can post you a full colour gift presentation pack for just £4.25, just choose posted instead of emailed delivery option. Or contact us by phone to make the arrangements.

Call US: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days) / 07843 064114 (Out of hours)

We'll take your details and payment over the phone and then email or post you and information pack along with the booking form. All you need to do then is complete the form and return it to us, your places are confirmed at the time of payment.

Click here to download booking form. Simply download the booking form and pop it in the post to us with your cheque for payment. We'll get in touch once your payment has cleared to confirm your booking.