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Hide tanning: Make your own Buckskin

  • Holistic Survival School 38 McDaris Cove Road Weaverville, NC, 28787 United States (map)

Hide Tanning: Make your own Buckskin (3 days):

Join Tyler Lavenburg in learning the ancient art of making Buckskin from deer hides. In this 3 day class, students will turn one deer hide into soft, supple and durable buckskin. Students will learn each step of the process with real, hands-on learning. Once the hide is complete, the every participant will keep their finished product (valued around $250). Note: making buckskin is very labor intensive and students should expect to work around 3-6 hrs/day.

The class is limited to 10 students total. The only thing you need to bring is a lunch, energy, an open mind, and some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Protective gloves are optional. Luke will provide all of the other materials. Daily Schedule: These times are generally and may be varied depending on hides, weather tiredness, etc.


Friday 9:00 am - 1:00 - Introductions, intro to buckskin, general process, scraping (physical)

Saturday 9:00 - 7pm - Wringing, dressing, wringing, sewing holes, softening (physical)

Sunday 9:00 - 1:00 - Making smoke sack and smoking hides, enjoy your finished product.

There is some wiggle room for times. So if you have a scheduling conflict, email Luke at and we might be able to make it work.

What is buckskin?

Buckskin is the soft pliable, leather-like material made from the hide of any hoofed animal (goat, deer, cow, etc). The buckskin process involves scraping off layers of hair and skin, adding oils, and adding lots of elbow grease! The finished product is a material that is more durable than leather and can be made into moccasins, clothes, bags, etc. This is the same process that Ancestral people have been doing for tens of thousands of years!