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Materials

Iron Black Dyes

The easiest colours to dye leather in medieval times were brown and black. Those are by far the most common colours for shoes in artwork I have looked at, but I haven’t done a numeric analysis of footwear colour by art and period yet. Leather tanned by the medieval process …

Where to get single strand thread

A question I get asked fairly frequently is where to find single-strand thread for making tapered waxed ends for sewing. It’s hard to get really good stuff these days because there isn’t really anywhere doing proper long-staple linen anymore but you can still get workable stuff. The stuff you want …

Notes for left-handers making thread

On a shoe and bootmakers forum I read someone was having trouble with their threads unwinding at the slightest provocation. They knew the thread and code were good because both of them had been used by other people before. The picture they posted showed that the thread had been plied …

What tallow does to dyed leather

Here is a quick look at the difference applying some tallow to dyed leather can make. This is a pair of early 16th century style low shoes I’ve been working on, they’re my first ever right-side-out lasted and welted shoes so don’t look at them too closely. Neither shoe has …

Rendering Tallow

He bequeythed to his dowtyr Bell Hys talow, his gres, now euerydell With pyrdowy. Tallow is rendered beef or mutton fat and makes a fairly good leather dressing. It is referenced in the Lystyne Lordys Verament, from which the verse above is taken. It is also used for making candles …

Making Code

“And undir the arme the armynge poyntis muste be made of fyne twyne suche as men make stryngis for crossbowes and they muste be trussid small and poyntid as poyntis. Also they muste be wexid with cordeweneris coode. And than they woll neythir recche nor breke.” “How a man schall …

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