What makes your hides so special?
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 30 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.
Merlin grew up in Thermopolis, Wyoming, and has been an avid hunter all of his life. He had a passion for sewing leather since a youngster in 4-H and FFA. In 1997 he started learning how to tan hair on hides. His first project took place in our spare bedroom when he decided, in the middle of a Wyoming winter, to tan a couple of beaver hides to make a new pair of gators for himself. As it often happens, “a couple” beaver hides turned into “many”. The following winter when a good friend asked him to tan a buffalo hide, I put my foot down and said not in the spare bedroom! Our first tannery building consisted of a 9’ X 15” log shed that he could work in during the cold Wyoming winters.
Never being able to locate him at supper time, the building got named Merlin’s Hide Out and the name stuck!Once he started tanning buffalo hides, he knew what his life passion was.
In 2005 we opened at our first location and within 3 months were turning work away. We’re proud to say that our buffalo hides are regarded as the best in the industry. In 2013 we expanded to a larger facility for the tannery with a retail showroom in the front of the building. The majority of the items (hats, mittens, pillows, etc.) you see on the website and in our showroom are handcrafted at our facility.
As they say “when you are able to do your life’s passion, work is no longer work”.
Sincerely, Merlin & Barb Heinze – Owners