Limina series: Oil-tanned Fishskin Leather-making with Janey Chang, June 10 & 17, 2020

The making of fish skin leather is an almost forgotten ancient skill that was once common among ocean and freshwater communities in the Northern Hemisphere in places such as Japan, China, Norway, Sweden, Alaska and the Pacific Coast. It is a beautiful textile that can be tanned in different ways to create a strong leather for clothing, pouches, wallets, footwear and art.

In this two part class we will explore oil-tanning and will use everyday materials you will likely find in your own home. In Part 1 we will prepare our fish skins for tanning and create a tannin liquor. In Part 2 we will soften and finish our skins into a beautiful leather. By the end, you will know all you need to know to have your own simple home fish tannery!

This class is offered by Janey Chang, ancestral skills practitioner and fishskin leather revivalist.

Date & time: Wednesday, June 10 & Wednesday, June 17, from 7-9pm PDT

These video sessions must be attended live; no recording will be available for download.

See below for details on registration, the sliding scale, and more.

Out of stock



This live video offering is part of the Limina Virtual Workshop series, an online connection of ancestral skills. Born from Crowsnest Wildcraft’s annual Limina Gathering, which was postponed from 2020 to 2021 to respond to COVID-19, we are taking our offerings online over the course of several months. Individuals may register for one or as many workshops as you like. Proceeds go directly to the facilitator and to Limina Gathering.

To register: purchase your spot on a sliding scale by choosing your price. That’s it!

You will receive first a confirmation email and later a follow-up email from the facilitator prior to the workshop.

Any questions can be directed to

Supplies needed to follow along:

1. One or more fish skin(s), from at least a full fillet of fish. Salmon, halibut, cod, burbot, etc. Take care when skinning to keep in one piece with no holes.

2. Something to scrape with: a tablespoon, seashells with smooth edges, mason jar lid

3. Dish soap

4. Bowls for washing and rinsing

5. Rag, hand towel or apron

6. Paint scraper or old debit card

7. Cutting board

8. Oil (coconut, bacon fat, margarine, etc.)

9. 2 eggs

10. Canola or olive oil

Interpreting the Sliding Scale:

$100-125: If you are able to pay for “wants” and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life, you have economic privilege and power in our community, then this price is for you.

$60-100: If you are struggling to conquer debt or build savings or move away from paycheck to paycheck living but have access to steady income and are not spending most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, child care, etc., you belong here.

$40-60: If you struggle to maintain access to necessities such as health care, housing, food, child care, or are in significant debt, you belong probably belong here and you deserve a community that honours your price as equal an economic offering as the person who can pay the highest tier.

Content derived from “The Sliding Scale: a Tool for Economic Justice” by Alexis J Cunningfolk.