The art of curing a goatskin (A bodhrán skin)

To cure a goatskin a solution of garden lime mixed with water is used. The skin is left soaking in the mix for six or seven days until the skin is soft enough to wash the hair off in a barrel of water. The back of the skin must then be scraped of all membrane and fat so that the skin does not smell when dried. The skin must then be soaked in a pickle solution for two days. The skin is then stretched and dried in the sun if possible. The sun will help bleach the skin giving a nice white surface favoured by those purchasing a bodhrán. The skin is now ready to stretch onto a rim. This is done while the skin is wet as it is easier to stretch while wet. It can be nailed, stapled or glued. Gluing gives the strongest and neatest finish but the two other methods are quite acceptable. It is often necessary that stapling or nailing is used to get a tighter stretch on the skin. A leather or vinyl band is then attached around the rim using studs and giving a finished look to the bodhrán.