--- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com
, "Chiara Francesca"
> Actually ... on the suede, a leather researcher recently informed
> suede was not used in Europe prior to 16th century. That it was
> after the civil war that it was used by anyone outside the American
This has been answered before, so I'll be brief.
Suede is a modern term. It is now used to describe any leather that
is not a grain surface. Could be the flesh side, could be a split.
Before the use of chomium for tanning leather (1880's and later) the
choices were (a.) alum. (b.) tannins from vegetable sources (c.)
Choices A and B were used on skins with the grain (hair) side
intact. Oil tanning required the removal of the outer surface so the
oil could penetrate and absorb oxygen. This gives a suede-like
surface and was in period called "buff" for the abrading process that
took off the outer layer. Oil tanning was the method of choice for
any leather that had to be soft and flexible, and not stiffened or
damaged by being wet as in garments and gloves.
So. Modern suede is definitely not period, because it is made by a
process completely unknown in the middle ages. But that's not to say
that there wasn't something that looked sort of like very fine suede
used at the time.