Merlin's Hide Out

Providing Nature’s Warmth

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Buffalo Hides


This page is about buffalo hides in general.  If your are looking to purchase a buffalo hide, please browse our selection.

The American Bison/Buffalo are a historical symbol of the great west.  For years they provided food, shelter, clothing, weapons and utensils for thousands of people in North America.

At Merlin’s Hide Out we take great pride in recreating the buffalo hide to its rich, supple, lush softness that our ancestors knew. A uniquely American tradition, tanned buffalo hides have been used to warm and decorate homes for thousands of years.

There are approximately 60 days a year when the buffalo hides are at their prime. At this time the buffalo produces the highest density of hair and therefore the quality of the hair is at its best. It is only this time of year that we hand select all of our hides to insure the quality our customers have grown accustomed to.

How long does it take to tan a buffalo hide?

At Merlin’s Hide Out each hide is treated individually from beginning to end. This way we have complete control of the quality.

We only get buffalo hides that are in their prime. This limits the time frame to about 60 days per year.

When we receive a buffalo hide it is immediately inspected for any imperfections.

Then the process starts. It takes approximately 45 days to complete the process from the inspection to when the hide is ready to ship. During this time it is, fleshed, salted, rehydrated, shaved (twice), tanned, oiled, dried, tumbled, brushed, tumbled again, brushed again, inspected, sized and graded.

Only one person is in charge of the final inspections, sizing and grading which allows us to provide you with the consistency of a great product that our customers have come to expect.

How do I care for my buffalo hide?

Caring for your buffalo hide is quite simple.

  • If you ever have a spill on it simply use a dry cloth to absorb as much of the spill as possible. Then use a clean damp cloth and blot the area.
  • Never saturate the hide with water or a cleaning solution. Do not apply water or a cleaning solution directly to the hide.
  • If the hide becomes matted use a heavy duty metal comb. We recommend a Scotch Comb and you can usually purchase these at your local pet store or a store that carries livestock supplies.
  • We recommend vacuuming your hide at least every week if the hide is used as a rug and as often as needed if used as a wall hanging, bedspread, wrap, or throw.
  • It is best to use the hose on the vacuum cleaner so you do not get the hair tangle in the brush.

What are buffalo hides used for?

No two hides are alike! You can use them in many ways:

  • For a beautiful wall hanging
  • Throw one over a railing
  • As the warmest bed spread you will ever need
  • Wrap yourself up in one of nature’s best blankets
  • A gorgeous accent rug.
Where ever you use it – it will add to warmth of your home and create a great conversation piece.

How should I hang my buffalo hide?

There are a couple of ways to display your beautiful buffalo hide as a wall hanging. You may use small nails spaced approximately every 6” – however this will leave a lot of small holes in your buffalo hide and wall.

You may also buy small clamps at your local hardware store and use them to hold the buffalo hide and attach these to the wall – there are also rug hanging units that allow you to fasten the buffalo hide to a rod and then hang the rod on the wall.

I have included a web address for Art In A Pinch where you can order decorative rug hangers.

How should I store my buffalo hide?

The best way to store your buffalo hide is in a cardboard box. Fold your buffalo hide length wise in half and then once again length wise.

Roll the buffalo hide starting at the head and roll it to the tail. It should fit in a 17” square box.

Place a few dryer sheets in the box and tape it shut. Store in a dry, insect free area.

Never store the buffalo hide in a plastic container or bag (or any type of plastic). Plastic will cause the buffalo hide to “sweat” and will damage the leather.

What type of tanning is used?

At Merlin’s Hide Out we use only eco-friendly tanning solutions. All of our eco-friendly chemicals have been EPA approved.

Thank you for checking us out and if you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us!