Brain tanning involves actually using the brain. It is interesting to note that exactly one deer brain is just enough to treat one deer hide – almost as if God intended it that way.

Trees that have lots of tannin in them are walnuts and oaks. It is interesting to note that walnut shells, I believe, have loads of tannin in them. If I remember rightly, you can boil crushed walnut hulls to get a mixture high in tannin… wait, let me look this up… I actually have a book… be right back…

The book I have is The Complete Book of Tanning Skins and Furs, by James E. Churchill.

The book says the best trees to use for high tannin content are Hemlocks and Oaks. Grind up 16 ounces of bark per each pound of skin. Simmer bark for 3 hours or steep in warm water for 48 hours, like tea. He doesn’t mention brain tanning or walnut hulls.. perhaps it’s in another book of mine. I will have to update this.

Still, the book is an outstanding reference. Even teaches how to turn hides into robes, gives patterns for mocs and directions on how to build a breaking bench, fleshing beam, tanning bench and other various tools…

One thing it does not do is teach how to make parchment. Sheepskin parchment. The stuff, so long as it is protected, will last for… well, ever, I think… we have sheepskin parchments that are many hundreds of years old, with many over 1000 years old, and they’re just fine…

Edit: Forgot to tell you, that was an excellent tutorial, Fro… nicely done.

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1