Apr 08 2007

Final Stage of Sinew Making

Published by at 6:24 pm under Animal Materials

The promised post to finish up the sinew processing. The pic below shows the dried elk backstrap sinew. Elk is very much larger than deer to work with but it also produces some very long strands. Moose would be much the same way.

Here I am giving the sinew a twist, bending it every which way possible. You basically just keep on doing that until it becomes loosened up. Deer take but a few minutes but this elk tore up my hands pretty well. It’s really strong stuff.

Here I splitting the sinew in half lengthwise. This will make it easier to torque around. Just keep working it until it wants to come off as threads. You can see the perpendicular cross fibers of the fascia that was left on it.

The final pic shows individual fibers that have been stripped out. Across them is a piece of nylon thread so you can get an idea of how large the threads are. I generally leave the sinew intact and only split off threads as I need them. Wet them to prestretch them before you use them. Sinew doesn’t take a square knot very well so one must use a figure 8 to begin to sew with them, or some other knot that doesn’t come out.

One last thing, when splitting anything including sinew the side that recieves more of the tension will end up thicker, so to keep a split uniform you try to keep the tension uniform bi-laterally. If you start to see the split make one side thinner then add more tension to that side. Make sense?

I’m going to be making some buckskin leggings next so check back in soon to watch them take shape!!


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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Final Stage of Sinew Making”

  1. torjusgaarenon 08 Apr 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Do you sew the sinews like they are or do you make twisted cordage out of them (inuit style)? I have tried both, but I think the first one is too weak.

  2. Robert Retallickon 08 Apr 2007 at 9:45 pm

    You can use it just as is. Of course you want to use the longer ones to sew up longer stretches of whatever. As you know it’s totally strong, it just depends on how thick you split it down to and also if any stuff got left on it to weaken it.

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