I used to tan the hide and fold over the edges, not using a leather strap for backing, so it’d be extra light. In tanning rattler or cotton mouth skins, an outer layer of each scale sluffs off causing a reduction of the Hide’s brilliance. It’s inevitable. However, they still look great, just not as colorful. And yes, they continue to fade with time, but not too much. The hide looks great for many years. I used a mixture of glycerin and anti-freeze for tanning. Stays soft forever with that blend.