Rebeats no longer is selling calfskin heads. This is primarily due to supply problems of both skins and flesh hoops.

The following is excerpted from the Rebeats Calskin Head Book source page:

Vellum & Parchment Works Ltd.
Union House, Maynooth Road, Celbridge,
County Kildare, Ireland
+353 1 6288270 fax +353 1 6273319
This firm produces the famous “Velvet” white calf and “Kalfo” translucent skins. Skins are sold unmounted only, and payment is made by international wire transfer.

Altenburger Pergament und Trommelfell GmbH
Mozartstrasse 8, 04600 Altenburg
+49 (0) 3447 314010
Altenburger produces high-quality skins made from a number of different animals including calf, goat, and horse hides. Skins are sold unmounted only.

Parchment and Vellum Works
97 Caldecote Street, Newport Pagnell
Bucks, MK16 0DB, United Kingdom
01908 610038
Producer of high-quality white calf skins, sold unmounted only.

Cooperman Company
(Cooperman Fife & Drum Company)
PO Box 821, 1007 Route 121
Bellows Falls, VT 05101
802 463 9750 fax: 802 463 4123
Cooperman is a second-generation family business founded in 1961 by Patrick Cooperman. Cooperman specializes in rope tension drums, and drums, and a number of wood products. They produce (open, or unglued) wooden flesh hoops which are useful for making custom-sized drum heads.

Stern Tanning Co., Inc.
4010 West Douglas Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53209
414 578 8615 fax: 414 578 8640
The last tannery to produce heads for the major American drum companies was the United Rawhide Company of Chicago, operated by Mr. Stephen Palansky. Palansky, a Czech immigrant, founded United Rawhide in 1951. As the American drum companies gave up their tanning operations in favor of mylar heads and purchasing finished skins, United Rawhide became the calfskin supplier to nearly all of the major players such as Gretsch, Ludwig, Slingerland, and Rogers. Eventually Mr. Palansky became the only American producer of heads for orchestral drums, outfits, and timpani. When he retired, he sold his business to Stern Tanning and trained Stern in his manufacturing processes. Stern produces skins mounted on wooden flesh hoops as well as unmounted skins. They produce snare drum heads (white or translucent), bass drum heads, timpani heads, tambourine heads, bongo and conga heads, Taiko drum heads, and Bodhran drum heads.

Lisbon Enterprises
Sialkot, Pakistan
+92-333-869 9897
Sialkot, Pakistan, is home to a number of producers of skins for use on drums.


Regarding translucent spots on white heads: Most of the calfskin heads we get (whether Pakistani, American, or Irish) have an occasional translucent spot in an otherwise white head. The most commonly seen example of this is when we have two spots on either side of a visable grain as in the photo below. The grain is where the spine or backbone of the animal was, the two spots are where the hip bones were. The skin was all translucent at the beginning of the tanning process. It was stretched tight while damp, and as it dried, the small fibers separate in a process referred to as “breaking white.” If the skin had a spot like the hip bone “bump,” it does not get stretched as tight as the rest of the skin and therefore does not break white. I once asked Mr. Stephen Palansky about the spots and he assured me that these are not defects, but an unavoidable natural feature of calfskin heads. I have since sold hundreds of skin heads and can say that of the dozen or so broken heads that we have considered defective over the last few years, not one of them showed a break or tear at one of these translucent spots. (More often, a head returned to us with a tear is one of the heads with no visible grain, indicating it was taken from a side of the skin.) I was discussing this with my good friend and customer Wes Aardahl recently and he shared with me that he used to buy calf heads from Stan at Pro Drum in Hollywood who advised Wes to always try to get a head showing the backbone grain as shown in this photo, and to play on the translucent area which he referred to as the “sweet spot.” (Stan told Wes that Jake Hanna referred to that as the sweet spot.)
It is, of course, beyond our control to specify grain or lack thereof, but we do try to accomodate the requests of our customers when we select skins from our inventory and I certainly understand when a customer requests a uniformly white head..