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57542Re: Period Finishing for a leather costrel

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  • Tom Apple
    Oct 27, 2008
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      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Michael and Nicole Anderburg"
      <cotihardie@...> wrote:
      > I was wondering if anyone had a reference (or just ideas) for the
      > finishing of a leather bottle, costrel, etc.

      Bill Ruppert who is one of the best bottlers around and who has
      studied that in the UK and owns some original costrels, finishes the
      exterior with dye and buffs with wax but there are not boiled in wax.

      Brown could be achieved by a variety of vegetable/plant dyes, black
      would have been achieved with logwood based dyes or iron/vinegar dye.

      The logwood based dyes oxidize over time, especially when exposed to
      sunlight eventually becoming brown in color. The iron/vinegar dye will
      only work on oak tanned leather and not chrome tanned leather. You can
      make the iron/vinegar by placing about half a pad of fine steel wool,
      00 or 000, in a jar of vinegar and let it set for a couple weeks, the
      steel wool will dissolve and settle out, but when you apply the
      vinegar to the leather, the leather will turn black. Waxing and
      buffing the exterior will help seal the finish, but is not used to
      make the vessel watertight.

      Originally the costrel would have been lined with pine pitch. This
      however is a carcinogen so Bill uses a commercial thermoplastic used
      by the brewing industry called "brewer's pitch" which looks the same
      and is food-safe. As brewer's pitch is not always easy to get, (Bill
      gets it in 50 lb. bags) some people today will line the bottle with
      beeswax as a modern expedient.

      I hope this helps.


      Tom A.
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