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Found 2 results

  1. This is a work in progress. I'm making a piece of throat /neck armor called a gorget. I have a metal one, but I wanted to see if I could do one out of leather that would be rigid enough for use in some sword combat arts (i.e. rapier fencing or HEMA longsword, but not SCA rattan.) So, here's a test of the concept of cuir bouilli. I spent a LOT of time doing Google research and reading a few sets of instructions. Testing this thick leather, I found that immersing it in 180 degree (Farenheit) water for about 20-30 seconds seemed to be right. I am not sure that belly leather, which is what I am using here, is the best thing for this project, since some pieces still seemed less rigid than I wanted. Yet after re-boiling them, I ran into the problem of the leather getting brittle. I don't recommend trying to re-boil the pieces if they don't seem rigid enough. One problem is shrinkage and warping -- to really get this right, I need a frame or mold for each piece. I did end up using my metal gorget to shape part of it (after wrapping it in plastic to keep wet leather off), which helped. I decided to attach the neck pieces to the front and back shoulder pieces using tabs (as visible in the Side picture)and brass rivets. I wouldn't recommend doing it -- the tabs get really think and hard when the leather is boiled. I didn't boil the tabs for the front piece, which made them easier. But next time, I'll just use a piece of leather to attach the two pieces together. The front piece (with the decorated panel) is two pieces. The decorated panel holds the pieces together, and acts as a reinforcement. Things to complete: (1) line the flesh side and add a small bit of padding for comfort, clear up raw edges. (2) add "blade trap" strip to the front piece. (3) decide how to strap them together into one unit. (4) apply final layer of finish to everything. Dyes used: Angelus Wine Tone for shoulder pieces, Angelus Lt. Brown for throat pieces.
  2. Morning all, My first attempt at boiling and hardening leather. I did this about a year ago (it takes me a while to post) and it is still rock solid. I initially didn't think it would be strong enough so I have a thong from the back to the front (hence the punched hole). But it never needed it. This was a piece of "un-toolable" leather off the side of a scrap hide from the local tannery. All different thicknesses and in really bad nick. I just gave a a scrub with some soapy water to get the factory grime off it, dipped it in boiling water, formed it and dried it in the oven with the door open. Then antiqued it in mahogany. This was done before I knew how to finish edges etc. But I still love it. Cheers and God bless, Alex