Maus

How Do I Stiffen Leather?

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I've got some masks finished and I love the way they are shaped and the tooling on them- my problem is is that they are kinda floppy. I've wet molded them- some are at the perfect stiffness and some aren't. What I am confused about is that they were all cut from the same hide... anyway, I'm trying to figure out how to stiffen them up. I know that some people make masks and then 'cook' them for a little bit to pull out the moisture and make them stiff. But I've heard that that can make the leather brittle- and I do not want that. Not to mention I really don't want to have to remold them. Also I know about some spray you can put on to stiffen saddles but I think that may be too stiff. Does anyone have any ideas I could try?

Thanks!

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Search for Drying Cabinet and you will find that many of the holster makers dry wet molded holsters at 120-130 deg. F. for 30 or more minutes to stiffen the leather. Some like to lightly oil with Neatsfoot after drying.

There is a long article at: Cuir Bouilli/Hardened Leather FAQ that covers additional methods and historical data.

Hide quality and the area from which you cut your pattern can also influence stiffness.

I noticed that Weaver Leather had a new product in their catalog called a leather hardener. It was in gal. quantity only and I have no added details. It appears to be an acrylic material.

Others may have additional methods.

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I was looking at this site the other day (I purchased some antique from them) and noticed

http://www.goodsjapan.jp/servlet/the-2138/High-strength-Leathercraft-hardener%2C/Detail

No idea what its like...

Natalie

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you could paint a layer of white pva glue on the back, that would stiffen them without any danger of shrinkage or overcooking.

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Shellac on the back side will stiffen your leather.

/ Knut

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