What is tannery ?

The objective of tanning is both to soften the skin for assembly and to protect it chemically by making it rot-proof against attacks from biological agents (bacteria, fungi, insects, etc.) which could feed on it.

The skin is soaked in different chemical baths, the composition of which is studied to preserve its physical characteristics and its appearance. Lubrication ends the operation by restoring the final touch of softness to the treated skin. It is necessary after treatment to maintain the hairs by regular brushing.

Different techniques

Alum tannings, simpler to use, are the most common. These tannings have the drawback of being highly sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, which pose conservation problems, particularly in natural history museums. Modern synthetic tannings, even if they are still little used, largely respond to these drawbacks.

The skins of the birds are not strictly speaking tanned. They undergo natural desiccation and are made rot-proof by application of antibacterial products. The best known of these is the arsenical

soap used since the 18th century. The bird eggs are for their part preserved by the technique known as emptying.

Nos autres services