They are very soft. How they achieve that is by removing the scale from the hides before they are tanned and then after the hides are tanned they thin them..........especially the big ones because the hide on a big one if thicker than cow hide.
I'll say this though, the thinning......I wish it had not been done. In fact in a few places on each hide ( More on the biggest 2, simply because they were so thick ) they have made holes at the joints of the hide sections. They even rant through along one of the sides at the belly.......
The smaller ones actually came out nicer in that respect as not so much had to be done to make them pliable.
I've got 6-8 more, mostly in the 9-11 foot range, sitting in the cooler salted in the raw. Plan with them is to see if I can find a tannery that will do them full thickness. Sent a couple of emails off the other day in the regard.
The color you see is called nicotine..........Louann like it......I'd of like'd something lighter.