Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cordage And The Scared Dog

One of the steps in making buckskin, or hide tanning in general, is stretching the rawhide on a rack to dry. This requires large quantities of string, cordage, or other binding materials. Of course, larger hides, require larger racks and hence more cordage. You'll notice the cords still attached to the hide in the previous post.  This past fall, I used parachute cord, which is very strong and fairly inexpensive.

Over the course of the homeschool survival classes in the last year, we have made cordage a few times.  Homework from the last class was to make as long a piece as you can.  To complete the task, we were given a pile of bass wood bark strips.

So, this evening, I was sitting in the rocking chair by the woodstove working on my cordage.  I have completed about 16 feet or 5 meters, depending on your particular measuring philosophy.  It is getting to the point where it is starting to tangle, so I've wrapped it around a stick.

In time, I will supplement, or replace, all of my purchased hide working tools with primitve ones, including any cord.  I may find that it is easier to use the modern tools, but I would like to complete at least one buckskin in a completely traditional manner.  I guess that means that, at some point, I will need to learn something about making stone and bone tools.

It occurred to me while working that yarn is simply cordage made from the fur of an animal.  As luck would have it, I have a chow chow who, in the spring and fall, sheds quite prolifically.  So, wheels turning, I borrowed some fur.  The fur is pretty well attached this time of year, but she had a few loose spots.  Regardless, she did not like where this was all going.  Here is the 5.5 inches, 14 centimeters, piece that I was able to fashion. 

All will be forgiven come feeding time tomorrow.


  1. Poor puppy! She certainly didn't like being "picked at." It's rare that she runs to hide near me ;).

    But, for the record, that's pretty decent looking yarn ... and without a fancy spinning wheel, or even a rustic drop-spindle either.

    Hey, did I mention I have some angora fiber in the back? *grin*

  2. One of these days, I'll post a comment before Wendy (I'm guessing your significant other;)...

    Good job with the cordage. I can appreciate having tools, but choosing to go "old school". I grind my own flour for baking, which is not that common around here, but it is done with an electric grinder, that technically chops it super fine. Great for baking, but still requiring electricity. This Christmas, I received a hand-operated mill from Lehman's..woo hoo! It grinds my spelt, wheat and rye between 2 stainless steel plates...but slower and alot more work that my spiffy little electric one!

  3. Julie,

    Yes, Wendy is my wife. She's pretty quick on the comments. ;} Good luck.

  4. Poor Yoohoo.... Rainpaw said that Yoohoo, ran and junped on her bed!!! Yoohoo normally doesn't do beds, she must have been really scared!


Thank you for leaving a comment on MooseBoots.

If you have not, please follow this blog by clicking the "Follow" button.