Approximately 2.6 m x 2.1 m.
Apart from the fact that they are gorgeous and last forever, these hides are also unique - there's nothing else out there quite like them.
First, they come from the certified organic, Ashrose Belted Galloway cattle carcasses we’ve sold through Feather and Bone. True nose to tail.
Second, most hides are cured using a highly concentrated combination of chemicals - fast but very toxic. These hides are cured over 14 weeks using locally-sourced, Victorian Black Wattle bark tanin - a gentle, non-toxic process with no polluting by-products.
The other thing that makes them special is their rarity. The curing only works with the thick, winter coats and, even then, there's a high rate of damage so we generally only get a handful to sell each year.
On display at Feather and Bone. Please let us know if you'd like to view them. Ask us when you come in or call 02 9818 2717 or email us.
The hides come from the 30 month-old Belted Galloway steers purchased by Feather and Bone over the winter months. The 300+ kg carcasses arrived here at Marrickville where they were dry-aged, butchered and sold to local customers. In the meantime, the skins were going through the 14 week process to become the beautiful, vegetable-cured hides shown here.
The hides were salted at Ashrose for one week then sent to Victoria to Greenhalgh Tannery. Greenhalgh is the only tannery in Australia to still use genuine crushed wattle bark from the Western districts of Victoria and Southern tablelands of New South Wales for its tanning medium. The use of wattle bark for tanning was the early traditional method used by tanneries Australia wide. Today those tanneries rely either on imported Mimosa or toxic, chemical alternatives which produce significant environmental pollution. The generic chemical process takes a few days however the Black Wattle tanning process is more costly and time consuming, taking eight to ten weeks.
Ashrose Farm, outside Orange in NSW, is John and Kate Blackwood’s beautiful, chemical-free farm populated by one of the largest herd of Belted Galloway cattle in NSW. In pursuit of optimum pasture welfare through rotational grazing, they’ve built an impressive system of lanes that run between paddocks along which cattle are moved when they’re rotated onto new pastures. It’s a canny way of turning cattle moving into a one-person job while minimising cattle stress. The Blackwoods are part way through the organic certification process.
We're proud to have been working with the Blackwoods for the last five years and we started selling the hides about four years ago.
Belted Galloways originated in Galloway in Scotland and are big, shaggy cattle noted for longevity, hardiness, adaptability, high fertility, easy calving, feed conversion efficiency, docility and excellent beef qualities.
Belted Galloway hides are particularly tough and thick and make gorgeous rugs.