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Like so many of the ancient human technologies, tanning, as a true craft, has transitioned from an essential part of a community's existence to an endangered art form.  This craft is very old and has been extensively developed and specialized.  It is truly incredible the potential of skin to be transformed and we owe much gratitude to the practitioners who honed the craft and passed down the wisdom.  Again, as is the case with so many crafts it went through a bottle neck and much has been lost. However, it seems we are seeing a revival of this and many other of these beautiful ancient crafts.


About the Owner

My name is Danielle Prophet and I have been tanning for 10 years and established The Natural Tannery 5 years ago.

I have spent a lot of time seeking out teachers of the craft, researching, experimenting, honing and sharing this skill.

I think all humans crave meaningful work and I have certainly found that.

I'm often asked how I got into tanning and all I can say for certain is that from the first time I tried it, it pulled me in.  It ignited a remembering.  I have my degree in Biology, love animals, homesteading and things of the past. I've been attending these "earth skills gatherings" where folks would share skills of the past, such as archery, tracking, pottery, friction fire, spinning, foraging etc. At one event I watched a fellow take apart a deer, harvesting from it a bone needle, scraper, sinew for thread and the brain for emulsifying and softening the skin.   I heard another tanner speak to the journey of tanning and how it leads us home.  These events started my own journey and I was very lucky to have teachers to help guide the process.

The work is challenging and there are times when I wonder why I have chosen this path.  Ultimately though the gift of the animal, the magic of the transformation and sheer beauty of the finished textile, reminds me why I love this craft.


At The Natural Tannery, we count ourselves very lucky to be a part of the preservation of tanning. It is also very important to us that we use processes that are not harmful to the waterways, land and all of the creatures. Modern, industrial tanning processes are unfortunately very toxic due to their use of harsh chemicals.  The reason for the name The Natural Tannery, is to help distinguish our practices.  Our tannery's ethics are mirrored by quite a few micro tanneries, in Ontario and globally but we are a small majority though.  Therefore, it is important to keep this practice alive and to produce high-quality goods which are safe for all and environmentally responsible. 

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