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Thread: Restoration of a vintage Native American Painted Deer Hide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
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    Default Restoration of a vintage Native American Painted Deer Hide

    I was reading leather cleaning restoration forum and ran across this thread on repairing a tiger hide. It showed how badly damaged it was. I would like help in guiding me in restoring the moisture & suppleness back to my painted hide.

    I have a Native American painted deer hide done by Lakota artist Sonny Tuttle. I purchased this over a year ago from the original buyer, I have left it rolled up, inside our house on a table. The original buyer just tacked it to the wall using the holes from where the hide was stretched when tanned; I just wonder if he had it hung above a fireplace that may have dried out this hide. My plan is to restore this hide as best as possible so I can hang it up on my wall.

    Name:  Sonny Tuttle Going In For The Kill deer hide 1.jpg
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    I’ve done research on Sonny’s work and read that he used acrylic paint when painting his hides. The buyer stated Sonny made this piece between the years 1990 – 1999. I unrolled my painted hide and the part that was inside the center of the roll was very tight. I put a flat mat with weights on it to hold it down in place so it would straighten out. I left it that way for several months and it worked. On the upper part where it was very stiff, I sprayed it with a very fine mist of water avoiding the painted part, this seems to have made that area of the hide softer. I noticed the tail on the deer hide was torn halfway. I took some nylon thread to mend this back together, and then was going to use some kind of glue for a better adhesion, thinking I would use maybe some kind of taxidermy glue. I then noticed all the cracking and part of the tail came apart as I was working on it. Part of hide is very stiff and I don’t want to do any more damage to it. I decided to stop and do some research on restoring hides before going any further. That is when I ran across this article on restoring a hide.

    Further notes on Sonny Tuttle’s work: In my research into Mr. Tuttle, one of the thing he states is he buys the hides already tanned, then he prepares them further. He states, “They’re oil-tanned in a way that approaches brain-tanning.” The resulting leather is soft, with a natural cream-to-white color. Hides are left with hair on for stability. “We dampen them, re-stretch them, then scrape them to bring up the nap.” Then they are painted.

    Image of Tail Damage
    Name:  Sonny Tuttle Going For The Kill deer hide painting damage 4.jpg
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    Images where hide is torn or cracked damage
    Name:  Sonny Tuttle Going For The Kill deer hide painting damage 1 tu1.jpg
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Size:  118.6 KB Name:  Sonny Tuttle Going For The Kill deer hide painting damage 3 tu1.jpg
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    Questions:

    Do you think that this hide can be soften to where the acrylic paint is not damaged?

    Can the places where it has been damaged from where the leather is thin and it tore be glued or a bonding agent used after the leather is softened?

    The tail part where it broke off, can that be mended?

    I am worried about the acrylic paint, I don’t want it to remove any or damage any of the paint. I have attached photos. If you feel you are not able to help me, could you direct me to someone who might be able to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Greater Vancouver, Canada.
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    Default

    >>> Do you think that this hide can be soften to where the acrylic paint is not damaged?

    Products to be used has to be tested against the acrylic paint. An option is to test out some acrylic paint commonly used at the period you mentioned on a piece of scrap deer hide that has a similar tanning type. Or an isolate painting on this hide to determine the stability of the painting against the proposed products used, namely Hydrator.3.3 > Fatliquor.5.0.


    >>> Can the places where it has been damaged from where the leather is thin and it tore be glued or a bonding agent used after the leather is softened?


    Yes, LeatherBond-3D when the bond becomes part of the hide, however, there is a possibility of a darkening effect when the bond dries.


    >>> The tail part where it broke off, can that be mended?


    Yes, the broken off can be bonded as the preferred repair and mended when needle stitches will further add weakness and a greater potential of accelerated tearing when stressed.


    >>> I am worried about the acrylic paint, I don’t want it to remove any or damage any of the paint. I have attached photos. If you feel you are not able to help me, could you direct me to someone who might be able to?

    Yes, the main concern is the bleeding or smearing of the paint, the painting must be strong against any liquid products used.

    For your further readings:
    Cleaning and Conditioning Kit . . .


    https://www.leatherdoctor.com/hair-o...tioner-kit-h4/

    Bonding repair . . .
    https://www.leatherdoctor.com/leatherbond-3d-1/
    Name:  Screen Shot 2022-11-08 at 11.40.09 AM.png
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    Name:  rogerIcon.jpg
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    Roger Koh
    Leather Care System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor / Coach
    web: www.leatherdoctor.com
    forum: www.leathercleaningrestorationforum.com
    email: [email protected],
    email: [email protected]
    WhatsApp: +639467037976
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    19

    Default

    test test test

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default

    testing testing testing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default

    testing testing testing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
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    Default

    Thank you for your response Roger. I would not be able to get any deer hide with acrylic paint used around the date this was made. My best bet is to do a test sample somewhere on my painted hide.

    You are going to have to walk me through this process.

    On the Leather Doctor kit-H4, I am assuming that is what I need to purchase along with the LeatherBond-3D, correct?
    The Hair-on Hide Zebra and Cow Conditioner - Kit-H4: There are 2 options when purchasing? What is the difference between Kit-H4 and Kit-Fill - 0.7kg?
    In reading repairing LeatherBond-3D: D. Hair-on hide Rip Repairs: Bond-3D with Patch-4s. Does this apply to my repair and will I need the Patch-4s?
    Is there anything else I need to purchase before I begin my restoration?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.
    Posts
    4,931

    Default

    >>> My best bet is to do a test sample somewhere on my painted hide.

    You will need to test every color.


    >>> You are going to have to walk me through this process.

    I do WhatsApp coaching @ US$99 an hour, this video coaching will be on time to get you doing right the first time.


    >>> On the Leather Doctor kit-H4, I am assuming that is what I need to purchase along with the LeatherBond-3D, correct?

    Correct!


    >>> The Hair-on Hide Zebra and Cow Conditioner - Kit-H4: There are 2 options when purchasing? What is the difference between Kit-H4 and Kit-Fill - 0.7kg?

    Now, there is only one version that needs to be filled with distilled water prior to use.


    >>> In reading repairing LeatherBond-3D: D. Hair-on hide Rip Repairs: Bond-3D with Patch-4s. Does this apply to my repair and will I need the Patch-4s?

    Patch-4S is an option when you need a supporting sub-patch.


    >>> Is there anything else I need to purchase before I begin my restoration?
    You will need cotton swabs to test the product against all the colors for potential bleeding.

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