Fish Tanning Blog

Fish leather is not all about salmon. Over the coming months,
I will be sampling many types of fish skins to see how they tan and what types of fish leather can be produced.
I will show some photos, a bit of the process and results of the tanning.
Please do not ask for more details of the various fish tanning recipes I use. Those are a trade secret. But please do check back to see the latest fish leather tanning experiments.

Salmon skin - Oak Tanned
Salmon skin – Oak Tanned

Salmon Leather Wallets

Shop for Flex Frame wallets, coin purses, card wallets or billfold wallets made of Salmon leather and other fish skins and other naturally tanned Fish Leather in my PaivatarYarn Etsy Shop.

The salmon and other fish skins are a zero waste product. I purchase the fish skins from local fish suppliers that would otherwise be discarded. Fish tanning is a long and complex process. The fish skins must be descaled, cleaned and soaked in a tanning bath for several weeks. I only use natural ingredients such as tree barks to make the tanning baths. After the skin is fully tanned, then it is treated with a natural oil and rubbed by hand to soften the leather. Salmon leather has a soft and natural suede finish. When tanned with tree barks, the natural shading and pattern of the fish skin is retained.

The Sami people were known to tan fish leather as well as reindeer, in order to make purses, pouches, clothing and other items for everyday use. Reindeer leather is a precious commodity that is difficult to source. Most of the reindeer hides are used by the Saami people for their own clothing and personal use. I am only able to purchase the reindeer leather in small quantities that are sold as scrap leather. I stitch the small pieces together in order to make purses, pouches, reindeer bracelets and other items. Nothing is wasted.

Fish Leather Wallets

Fish Leather Coin Purses and Pouches
Fish leather coin purses – hand stitched fish leather and reindeer leather kiss frame coin pouches.

Fish Leather BiFold Wallets
Hand stitched Bi Fold wallets made of bark tanned fish skins and reindeer leather

Salmon Leather Skins

Salmon Leather skins come in sizes ranging from 40 – 60 cm in length and 10 – 15 cm in width.
Colours will vary depending on the particular tree barks or natural dyes that have been used.

The salmon skin leather has been sourced from fisheries in British Columbia and the UK where the fish skins would otherwise have been discarded.

Please check back for our latest selection of naturally tanned and dyed salmon skin leathers.