Archive for the 'Animal Materials' Category

Jan 13 2008

Patching Wool

Published by under Animal Materials

Purist Warning! This post contains non-primitive tools. 🙂

What you need to do this:

  • A wool garnment with holes in it.
  • A blunt, preferably large needle with a big eye.
  • Some wool thread. Preferably matching colours, though I didn’t have that available..

Knitted and felted wool is two of the most common materials for traditional clothes in Norway. Wool is warm, even when wet, but it has one disadvantage: It wears out quickly if used in tasks that abrades it heavily. Because of this it’s smart to know how to patch them.

The whole process is organised as when weaving cloth. Start by making threads going in one direction. Use simple overhand stitches, but don’t tighten them together.


Then you weave like on a loom. Remember that there are threads on the inside too, that needs to be incorporated. This is a little fiddely, but if you poke around a little in the hole with the needle you’ll find them. Feel on the inside as well, to make it easier. The first row is the hardest.


There is no need to make any knots at the beginning or end of the weave. Just make a few additional stitches. It’s remarkable quick to patch a pair of mittens, socks or whatever.


Just for your information, I am crappy at patching wool, as you probably can see it looks like a mess. It does the job though.

2 responses so far

Jan 12 2008

Buckskin Bag Part 3

Published by under Animal Materials

I have made a little progress on my buckskin bag. I have made a carrying strap (not attached yet) and stitched on the fur strip from part 2.

Buckskin strips cut. These have been stitched together after this photo was taken and is ready to be assembled on the bag.


The fur strip was stitched on from the middle and out to both sides, to reduce risk of unwanted folds. In the ends I folded over the fur to make it look a little more seamless.


Run a needle or awl along the seams to try to catch and pull out any hairs sticking in the holes or underneath the stitches.


The first strip is now attached. I stitched all the way around it. I am planning on adding two more tomorrow, given that I have the time for it.


3 responses so far

Jan 07 2008

Buckskin Bag Part 2

Published by under Animal Materials

Not much progress today on the bag. Cut two fur strips (nervewrecking) and sewed them together to make the joint look pretty seamless. When you cut the fur, cut only through the skin, not the hairs, or it will look very square and odd.


The sewing is done on the inside, since the outside is what will show.


I need two more strips before I start stitching them on.

3 responses so far

Jan 06 2008

Buckskin Bag Part 1

Published by under Animal Materials

Natives around the world seems to rarely have used rucksacks, at least for small huntingtrips lasting only a day or so. I also find a rucksack noisy, encumbering and a general a pain in the ass. The common solution seems to be a bag thrown over a shoulder, containing some essentials like a knife, fire starting kit, extra bowstring, snares, needle and hooks for field repair of clothes etc… I decided on using the last big piece of buckskin I have left after making the mittens into such a bag. Sorry that most of my photos are out of focus.

First a photo of my youngest daughter, who wants to help just a little too much. 🙂


I find buckskin to be very forgiving stuff, 100% perfect tailoring doesn’t matter. So I’m trying to move away from the use of patterns into a more free way of making my gear. Spend a lot of time figuring out how you want it first though, because when you have started cutting, there is no turning back. You can not stitch it back up without it being very visible.


Do it free hand like above or with a guide (bone) below.


I like symmetry on the things I make, other people may not be so fuzzy about this. To achieve a symmetric top, fold it over before cutting and cut through both sides at once.


Here is the the bag ready for sewing, it needs to be wrung first compared to that photo. On things that’ll take as much abuse as this one probably will, I use a double running stitch for extra strength. Note the two needles holding the back and front together while punching the holes. This is to keep the it uniform and not sagging down on one side. Important! Start sewing from the opening and down, otherwise you’ll risk the dreaded stretching issue, causing one or both sides to get massively out of alignment.


The bag itself is essentially finished and wrung back. What lacks is decoration, a means of holding the cover over the bag and strap to carry it with.


5 responses so far

Jan 05 2008

String Finished

Published by under Animal Materials

Not having much to post, I’m posting a picture of the finished cordage. Why you say? Because a coil of cordage is beautiful in it’s own right.

I can pretty much guarantee a much more interesting post tomorrow. 😉


One response so far

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