Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Hedy

  1. I am increasingly concerned about this subject, personally. It's tough to figure out where our leather comes from because tanneries sell globally. Does your leather come from under-regulated Third World tanneries (such as India), where cows are starved/dehydrated, have pepper rubbed in their eyes to keep them awake, have their tails broken to keep them alert, are allowed to stand for days or weeks with broken legs or worse, get moved with forklifts when they are too weak to walk, get stacked on top of one another in pens while still alive but too weak to move, get killed with dull knives, get skinned while still alive, et cet? Or China (many of same, plus blatant skinning of live animals, including for fur)? There are eye-witness/hidden-camera videos of these practices. I have seen them and been sick for weeks. Then what about those tannery workers become ill because they are not given adequate protection from long-term exposure (check out the chromium VI risks below)? What about the pollution that results to the water table? These are difficult issues to ponder. Personally, I'm working to forge collaborations with local homesteaders to see if I can get brain-tanned hides from their animal harvests that would otherwise be left to return to the eco-system. Every now and then, our local Native-owned leather shop has a smoked moose hide or such. I have promised myself I won't randomly buy leather without attempting to acquire something more humane first. There are suppliers who are doing it on the up-and-up, such as http://www.braintan.com/ (Traditional Tanners). You can even buy a wet hide and do the tan yourself. Buckskin, rawhide, deerhide, furs (including buffalo). Just a look at the chromium science will give an indication: Chromium(VI) is a danger to human health, mainly for people who work in the steel and textile industry. People who smoke tobacco also have a higher chance of exposure to chromium. Chromium(VI) is known to cause various health effects. When it is a compound in leather products, it can cause allergic reactions, such as skin rash. After breathing it in chromium(VI) can cause nose irritations and nosebleeds. Other health problems that are caused by chromium(VI) are: - Skin rashes - Upset stomachs and ulcers - Respiratory problems - Weakened immune systems - Kidney and liver damage - Alteration of genetic material - Lung cancer - Death The health hazards associated with exposure to chromium are dependent on its oxidation state. The metal form (chromium as it exists in this product) is of low toxicity. The hexavalent form is toxic. Adverse effects of the hexavalent form on the skin may include ulcerations, dermatitis, and allergic skin reactions. Inhalation of hexavalent chromium compounds can result in ulceration and perforation of the mucous membranes of the nasal septum, irritation of the pharynx and larynx, asthmatic bronchitis, bronchospasms and edema. Respiratory symptoms may include coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, and nasal itch.
  2. I had a bad experience with ethyl acetate a few weeks ago. Thought the garage was well enough ventilated, but evidently I got it in my system over the course of the afternoon. Had a couple glasses of wine with dinner -- which has, you guessed it, ethyl acetate in it -- and the whites of my eyes tinged red and I was quite ill for a few hours. I'll be sticking with alcohol from now on OR working outside if I have to deglaze.
  3. This is a great idea. I bought a leather ring from an artist, and it came in a little scrap pouch she built in a unique shape. It was sewn on a machine; so I don't know if I'd tackle that by hand for every order, but it was cool. It did not have a maker's stamp on it or anything. I'm not a fan of wasted packaging, i.e., lots of tissue paper and bags and whatnot; so I may try variations on it in the future. Hedy
  4. What sorts of clamps do you use? How do you avoid the clamps making impressions in the leather? Thanks, Hedy
  5. Hi, my name is Heather McGee, and I have recently re-started leatherwork after a long hiatus. I am a beginner with lots of ideas but, like many, a full-time job that hinders me from producing much. I really like construction and mixing materials, especially incorporating found (recycled) or vintage objects. http://www.cultofnot.com is my website. I welcome feedback and criticism. I am attaching a pic of a roller derby belt I did recently as a custom job. I hope to combine more leather and stainless steel together in the future because I dig it. Hedy
  • Create New...