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Re: [medieval-leather] Recipe for alum tawing wanted

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  • Ron Charlotte
    ... * From _Ancient Skins, Parchments and Leathers_ by R. Reed * Recipe No. 41. * To make cheverell: * Take parchment and lay it a night in ale dreggs and at
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 1, 2005
      At 03:12 PM 7/31/2005, Ana wrote:
      >Hello,
      >I bought a large lump of alum salt and would like to experiment with tawing.
      >Like, I already got some rawhide lying around that I could use.
      >Has anybody a recipe on how to do it, and how to prepare the rawhide?
      * From _Ancient Skins, Parchments and Leathers_ by R. Reed
      * Recipe No. 41.
      * To make cheverell:
      * Take parchment and lay it a night in ale dreggs and at the morne
      hette a pinte of lewke water and put therto half an once of alom and wasshe
      it well the space of a quarter of an owre and take then 3 eggs and yolks
      and wryng hem and then frett the parchment yin a lyttyll while and then
      wasshe it yin the water of saulenge if it shalbe rede or yn the juse of
      sage or rewe if it shalbe grene and lay it then to drye and after rubbe it
      well and make it sowpyll and it shall be fine.
      * To make Cheverell Leather:
      * Take parchment and place it in ale dregs for a night. In the
      morning, heat a pint of water untli lukewarm and to this add half an ounce
      of alum and agitate the skin in the solution for a quarter of an
      hour. Then wring the skin. Take the yolks of three eggs and rub these
      into the parchment for a little whileand then, if you want a red colour,
      steep it in an aqueous infusion of the Saulenge (Salvia plant) or if you
      want it green, in the juice of sage or rue. Leave it to dry; after which
      stake it well to make it subble and you will have a fine leather.
      * Mr. Reed attributed this to a 15th century English manuscript held by
      the British Museum.

      The only thing that's unclear, is just how large of a piece of parchement
      this was intended to treat, but given the quantities, I would guess a piece
      large enough to bind a book.


      Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
      ronch2@... OR afn03234@...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Marc Carlson
      Alum (KA1(SO4)2.12H2O), mixed with half its weight of salt (NaCl), together with a bulking of emulsifying fats (oil, or, traditionally, egg yolk: 25 eggs for
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 1, 2005
        "Alum (KA1(SO4)2.12H2O), mixed with half its weight of salt (NaCl),
        together with a bulking of emulsifying fats (oil, or, traditionally,
        egg yolk: 25 eggs for 100 lb wet skin) and flour gives a pale,
        flexible, soft leather which is unstable, reverting to rawhide when
        the alum is washed out." Driel-Murray, Carol van. "Leatherwork and
        Skin Products." In Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, ed. Paul
        T. Nicholson and Ian Shaw, 299-319. Cambridge: Cambridge University
        Press, 2000.
      • Anna Troy
        What is Chevrell leather? Anna T * From _Ancient Skins, Parchments and Leathers_ ... So many books, so little time Anna s Crafts Links Page
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 1, 2005
          What is Chevrell leather?

          Anna T

          <snip> * From _Ancient Skins, Parchments and
          Leathers_
          > by R. Reed
          > * Recipe No. 41.
          > * To make cheverell:


          "So many books, so little time"

          "Anna's Crafts Links Page"
          http://home.tiscali.se/annascrafts/index
        • Marc Carlson
          ... I have no idea. Cheverette (and it s possible that this was a typo in the book or in transcription for that) is a thin goatskin that was once used for
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
            --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Anna Troy <owly3@y...> wrote:
            > What is Chevrell leather?

            I have no idea. "Cheverette" (and it's possible that this was a typo
            in the book or in transcription for that) is a thin goatskin that was
            once used for gloves. Very Victorian.

            Marc
          • Grooby, Peter
            ... ounce ... these ... colour, ... you ... which ... My experiments would lead me to conclude that the leather used in the above instructions is very thin,
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
              > * To make Cheverell Leather:
              > * Take parchment and place it in ale dregs for a night. In the
              > morning, heat a pint of water untli lukewarm and to this add half an
              ounce
              > of alum and agitate the skin in the solution for a quarter of an
              > hour. Then wring the skin. Take the yolks of three eggs and rub
              these
              > into the parchment for a little whileand then, if you want a red
              colour,
              > steep it in an aqueous infusion of the Saulenge (Salvia plant) or if
              you
              > want it green, in the juice of sage or rue. Leave it to dry; after
              which
              > stake it well to make it subble and you will have a fine leather.

              My experiments would lead me to conclude that the leather used in the
              above instructions is very thin, and quick to absorb the alum. I don't
              have my reference at hand, but when I played around with alum tawing,
              the instructions I had said that after soaking for a period of time the
              leather needs to be taken out and worked. I think that traditonally a
              stake is set up and the leather pulled pack and forth over the stake,
              opening up the pores/fibres of the leather to allow the alum solution to
              soak in. Then it is returned to the solution to soak, and the procedure
              repeated.

              I experimented with some rawhide from a (new) dog-chew, and had some
              reasonable success, but it took a lot of working of the leather.

              I was assured before trying the experiment that it wouldn't work at all,
              as the dog-chew would be treated in some way to stop absorption, but it
              worked fine. Perhaps NZ dog-chews are plain raw-hide, while American
              ones are treated in some way.

              Vitale

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            • Ron Charlotte
              ... The specific definition: A goatskin parchment that has been converted into a supple and strong leather with the characteristic bold grain pattern. It
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
                At 02:12 AM 8/2/2005, Anna wrote:
                >What is Chevrell leather?
                >
                >Anna T
                >
                ><snip> * From _Ancient Skins, Parchments and
                >Leathers_
                > > by R. Reed
                > > * Recipe No. 41.
                > > * To make cheverell:
                >
                >----------

                The specific definition: "A goatskin parchment that has been converted
                into a supple and strong leather with the characteristic bold grain
                pattern. It proved to be an exceptionally durable bookbinding leather. The
                conversion was effected by a simultaneous tannage using alum and oil,
                followed by intensive fatliquoring and staking. Cheverell was used in
                England, France. and Italy during the 13th to 15th centuries."

                I posted that recipe because it was the first I hit where a rawhide type
                material was tanned using alum, and the process should work as well on
                rawhide as parchment. There are several other recipes in sources like _The
                Plicho_.


                Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
                ronch2@... OR afn03234@...

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Phlip
                Ene bichizh ogsen baina shuu... ... I certainly hope not, because most dogs, in addition to chewing on them, eat them. It s not exactly something that you can
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
                  Ene bichizh ogsen baina shuu...

                  > I was assured before trying the experiment that it wouldn't work at all,
                  > as the dog-chew would be treated in some way to stop absorption, but it
                  > worked fine. Perhaps NZ dog-chews are plain raw-hide, while American
                  > ones are treated in some way.
                  >
                  > Vitale

                  I certainly hope not, because most dogs, in addition to chewing on them, eat
                  them. It's not exactly something that you can convince them not to do ;-)

                  Saint Phlip,
                  CoD

                  "When in doubt, heat it up and hit it with a hammer."
                  Blacksmith's credo.

                  If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably not a
                  cat.

                  Never a horse that cain't be rode,
                  And never a rider who cain't be throwed....
                • Ron Charlotte
                  ... Yup. It is literally sheet parchment being converted into bookbinding weight leather. ... Some of the recipes from other sources for heavier leather speak
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
                    At 07:44 PM 8/2/2005, Vitale wrote:
                    >My experiments would lead me to conclude that the leather used in the
                    >above instructions is very thin, and quick to absorb the alum.

                    Yup. It is literally sheet parchment being converted into bookbinding
                    weight leather.



                    >I experimented with some rawhide from a (new) dog-chew, and had some
                    >reasonable success, but it took a lot of working of the leather.

                    Some of the recipes from other sources for heavier leather speak in terms
                    of a couple of pounds of alum in the pot for the tawing, so it would be a
                    much more saturated solution. With the egg yolk, the cheverell recipe is a
                    partial oil tan, but most of the recipes I've found tend to add fat after
                    the alum.


                    >I was assured before trying the experiment that it wouldn't work at all,
                    >as the dog-chew would be treated in some way to stop absorption, but it
                    >worked fine. Perhaps NZ dog-chews are plain raw-hide, while American
                    >ones are treated in some way.

                    No, I think that they may be painted with egg wash or something similar,
                    but nothing that would stop them from soaking up liquid when actually immersed.




                    Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
                    ronch2@... OR afn03234@...
                  • Phlip
                    Ene bichizh ogsen baina shuu... ... immersed. ... Well, just for the Hel of it, I posted Purina and asked how the rawhide used for dog toys is treated. When I
                    Message 9 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
                      Ene bichizh ogsen baina shuu...

                      > >I was assured before trying the experiment that it wouldn't work at all,
                      > >as the dog-chew would be treated in some way to stop absorption, but it
                      > >worked fine. Perhaps NZ dog-chews are plain raw-hide, while American
                      > >ones are treated in some way.
                      >
                      > No, I think that they may be painted with egg wash or something similar,
                      > but nothing that would stop them from soaking up liquid when actually
                      immersed.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Ron Charlotte

                      Well, just for the Hel of it, I posted Purina and asked how the rawhide used
                      for dog toys is treated. When I get an answer, I'll post it here, but that
                      will likely be after Pennsic.

                      Saint Phlip,
                      CoD

                      "When in doubt, heat it up and hit it with a hammer."
                      Blacksmith's credo.

                      If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably not a
                      cat.

                      Never a horse that cain't be rode,
                      And never a rider who cain't be throwed....
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