How to make rawhide or leather lace

A references section devoted to the creation and use of miscellaneous primitive weapons.

How to make rawhide or leather lace

paleoarts
Registered User
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 15:47

07 Sep 2013, 23:15 #1

I get this question quite often. "how do you get long pieces of leather or rawhide?". The answer is simplicity itself, you cut it from a piece of skin in a spiral. Even a relatively small piece of hide can yeild several yards of continuous lace. The first step is to determin how large of a solid unblemished circle, or oval for that matter, you can get out of your skin. Next decide on how wide you want your lace and then start cutting. Take your time and be careful to stay consistent and you'll soon end up with more lace than you know what to do with. The piece pictured here was a very nice goatskin rawhide I recieved from a customer of mine. I was able to cut out a 26'' wide circle that ended up yeilding me several hundred feet of  quality 1/2"  lace as well as 15 yards of 3/8" with plenty of material left over for other projects.

Chris


check out my online gallery, including shopping cart, at www.flintknappers.com/gallery/paleoarts and follow me on Facebook.
Reply

Ma Tanner
Registered User
Joined: 30 Nov 2012, 02:23

09 Sep 2013, 03:13 #2

What kindof critter was that?
I can't seem to cut a straight line to save my life, Do you mark your line?
Rawhide has Soooo many uses. I need to make some too.
Thank you for posting this.


Ma
I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them. G. W. Bush                             ~~LOL~~
Reply

toxophileken
Registered User
Joined: 15 Jan 2006, 04:55

09 Sep 2013, 06:11 #3

Thanks for posting this, Chris.  That's how Tim Baker said to make a bowstring from a small critter, like a squirrel.

There is also a tool sold to do this, too, MT. It keeps the width for you, so you don't have to follow a line.  Here's a link to the tool on Tandy's page (I think you can pick it up all over the place, probably cheaper):

LinkClickHere


Ken
Reply

paleoarts
Registered User
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 15:47

09 Sep 2013, 14:07 #4

here's a couple of tips for cutting. One, if you're right handed, start your cut on the left side of the circle (pic#2). This keeps the scissors on the right and you can hold the lace with your left. By pulling gently on the lace with your left hand you can help guide the cut easier. Place some kind of weight, like a stone, in the middle of your circle. This will stabilize your skin and allow you to make a smooth even cut. Don't worry if it isn't perfect. Slight variances in width wont matter much unless you get too thin, then you risk the possibility of breakage when it comes time to twist or wrap.
check out my online gallery, including shopping cart, at www.flintknappers.com/gallery/paleoarts and follow me on Facebook.
Reply

paleoarts
Registered User
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 15:47

09 Sep 2013, 14:09 #5

Oh, and that's a goatskin rawhide, Ma.
check out my online gallery, including shopping cart, at www.flintknappers.com/gallery/paleoarts and follow me on Facebook.
Reply

Ma Tanner
Registered User
Joined: 30 Nov 2012, 02:23

08 Jan 2014, 06:32 #6

Can't tell from the pics for sure, but is this grain on?

Ma
I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them. G. W. Bush                             ~~LOL~~
Reply

Quillsnkiko
Registered User
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 08:25

08 Jan 2014, 16:00 #7

there is a little black plastic tool sold by Tandy for cutting lace....  IT WILL NOT WORK ON RAWHIDE .......I can cut yards and yards of lace effortlessly with braintan or commercial leather ..deer skin weight ....continuous ..lengths ....but it will not work for rawhide . one has to cut rawhide the way chris is doing there .this little tool you cut a quarte sized hole in the center of your leather..cut a small lenght of thong..say 2 inches ..inset in the tool and pull....it takes getting used to useing it ..to cut efficiently ...but like I said I can cut ...long long lengths of consistent thickness thongs with it .leather thong. not rawhide .sometimes it helps to have the rawhide a little bit damp...not sopping wet..goat skin is a very consistent thickness...unlike deer which can vary somewhat .  



 Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
Reply

prairie gold
Registered User
Joined: 28 Oct 2013, 16:14

09 Jan 2014, 16:16 #8

ma,
all i do is with my hides is make rawhide for my little gourd drums. i wasnt aware that grain on or off had a purpose...
what would grain-off on rawhide do, other than give both sides an equal appearance i suppose?

just call me 'still learning' here in iowa!
Reply

Quillsnkiko
Registered User
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 08:25

10 Jan 2014, 03:06 #9

Its grain on........ very visible ...once you've seen enough rawhides....

see where he has the lace cut??? see the one side looks white ..thats the flesh side the other darker side is the grain side. 


Grain on ..would be stronger .....somewhat ...especially for lace. goat lace would probably be stronger than deer to ....goat hide is tough stuff...Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
Reply

Ma Tanner
Registered User
Joined: 30 Nov 2012, 02:23

10 Jan 2014, 05:33 #10

Exactly what I thought... And the answer I was hoping for... You unknowingly answered annother question... actually 2.
#1, was that by looking at drums that others had made, I thought that they had the grain on. I imagine this would help the sound to be crisp and vibrate right.
#2, I know goat leather is much stronger than deer cuz I've done both. The leather from goat was more durable than the deer when used for the same purposes. I needed to be reassured of what I knew cuz my memory... well, it's not the greatest... Thanks Quills.

I will be making rawhide soon and I needed to know whether to take the grain off, or leave it on... And what method to use for dehairing. Lye could make the hide crack, right? So probly water or lime. I really don't like lime cuz it's so hard to get out, but using just water is a controlled rot, so I don't want it to have any smell.

Prairie,
Without the grain grain, the protective hard layer, there'd be nothing to keep it from being softened in each place the drumstick hit. By the end of the song, the sound would be a flappy slap instead of a crisp-bong.

Ma
I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them. G. W. Bush                             ~~LOL~~
Reply

prairie gold
Registered User
Joined: 28 Oct 2013, 16:14

10 Jan 2014, 13:08 #11

that's what i figured ma, but thought maybe there some secret purpose i needed to learn about taking grain off!

the grain definitely gives the drum surface a nice look..a lite pebbly texture...i take a scrubby to the back side of my rawhide after i cut off/soak what i need for my gourd drums...gets that remaining ash worked off along with a bit more material...for these small decorative drums thats fine cuz they don't get stretched super tight... as the hide dries it's almost transparent!..on a bigger drum that might be a disadvantage!
Reply

Quillsnkiko
Registered User
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 08:25

10 Jan 2014, 23:03 #12

I used to make a lot of rawhide with lime...barn lime in water ....if you can keep it warm it will slip the hair in less than a week usually ....no smell... stir every day ....later on if you choose to you can dry scrape the grain off ....if you want to make braintan . I do think rawhide prepared with lime is a little firmer rawhide ....possibly stronger rawhide than that prepared just by soaking in water .

Me and lye ..do not mix..I hate the stuff... & do not care to mess with rubbery ...plumped up hides...at all.Just me I guess....plus ...the stuff is toxic and if critters get in it ...it will kill  them so thats another reason I don't like it .Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
Reply

prairie gold
Registered User
Joined: 28 Oct 2013, 16:14

10 Jan 2014, 23:27 #13

i've never used commercial lye/lime...just woodashes...my latest deer hides seem to be extra tender..they want to rip out when i stretch...and i think the problem is my over abundance of ash perhaps! to highly concentrated????

the earlier hides i did was later in the spring (just because we had baby goat season and had enough work to do!) and i was short on ash...now, dead of winter (and no goats!) i have more ashes than i need..a day or two and the hair slips simply swiping my hand across the hide...the early stuff i had to put it on the beam and use the drawknife to get a clean job....

i was just cuttiing up some some of that tender rawhide to see how it behaves and it will tear by hand...i soaked some and it seems to be tougher as it soaked.. but i still wouldnt rely on it to be strong enough for lacing as it pulls tight.....
Reply

Quillsnkiko
Registered User
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 08:25

11 Jan 2014, 03:43 #14

I found when I tried dehairing using ashes...too much bacteria built up ...resulting in smelly hides and tender hides.Being tender like that .... is a sign of  ...rot. unless its a super young animal..... and even then if the hide has never experienced a mass of bacteria....to remove the hair it will be fairly strong flesh .

Dehairing with lime ..controls the bacteria ...as long as you keep the hide stirred up ..so the lime stays in solution and does not all settle out ..leaving the top water ....fairly lime free .plus pockets form ...in the hide in the water ..and the lime settles out..why stirring is so essential ..every day . 


In tanning or hide processing factories..the hides in solution are agitated ....keeping it dissolved ...Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
Reply

Ma Tanner
Registered User
Joined: 30 Nov 2012, 02:23

11 Jan 2014, 04:04 #15

Prairie, maybe you used too many ashes... too much lye in the water would probly disentegrate a hide if left in long enough.

Quills, maybe you didn't use enough ashes? or maybe you used softwood ashes? Has to be hardwood ashes and enough to make an egg float.

I use ashes if I've got 'em and it doesn't smell bad. It has a smell, like wet ashes and hide, but not a stink. I don't like the way lime makes the hide smell. ~LOL~ Different strokes...

The lye from the ashes with the reaction in the water keeps bacteria kilt. Gotta stir ash solution too.

I just figured the caustic part of the lye would make the grain crack... I thought I read somewhere on PP that the lime doesn't do that.


Have a Great Day!

Ma
I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them. G. W. Bush                             ~~LOL~~
Reply

prairie gold
Registered User
Joined: 28 Oct 2013, 16:14

11 Jan 2014, 13:22 #16

i've never had any issues with smell using woodash...and i've had some hides that got forgotten and sat there over a week unattended...and yes, now that i think of it, goat hides were my early experiments and they gave me easy lessons...these deer hides are proving to be more fussy!

the last hide i worked a big brute of a buck deer...huge ancient beast roadkill (hate to hink what he did to the front end of the vehicke...bits of plastic everywhere!!)....he must have had a lot of fat built into his hide..after he soaked in the solution, i like to scrape the hide one more time and work as much ash and any remained trash, before i rinse it again...he gave up alot of slimey goo, it just kept coming out of the hide the more i scraped...i think perhaps he was making soap?!?! the hide is still on the board, didnt have room to get it inside my shop so it's freeze drying, but so far looks fine...
Reply

Ma Tanner
Registered User
Joined: 30 Nov 2012, 02:23

11 Jan 2014, 17:10 #17

Well, if they didn't make cars out of plastic, we wouldn't have that "plastic bits everywhere" problem! ~LOL~

Oh! that slimey goo is mucus. Yes, we ALL have 'snot' in our skin... Helps keep the skin soft and moisturized. All that has to come out.
Definately a difference between grease and mucus... Grease will turn white when cold and/or rubbed up. The mucus oozes and usually stays clear.

Freezing is good for it.

Ma
I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them. G. W. Bush                             ~~LOL~~
Reply

Quillsnkiko
Registered User
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 08:25

09 Sep 2014, 16:18 #18

Was just reading thru this thread of Paleo Arts excellent thread on cutting rawhide lace and it struck me that we 3 gals turned it into a gab session ...... sorry chris....haha!~! Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
Reply