This is the first piece I made using my X1 hardening technique. As such, I’ll be holding on to this one for my personal collection.

This is also the first time I tried using vinegaroon, an old method of dyeing veg-tanned leather (and wood) black. It’s very simple and requires just soaking fine steel wool in vinegar for a couple days, then applying to the leather. Tannins in the leather react with the vinegaroon ferric oxide solution, and gives a deep color that doesn’t run.

Making vinegaroon. The liquid goes on colorless, but quickly turns the leather deep black.

The bottle is constructed by first drawing the outline of the side pieces, cuting them out of leather, and stitching up everything but the bottom. Make the bottom and thin the edges and push it in there and stitch it. Everything about doing the bottom piece was a pain in the neck. I then soaked it in room temp water, then packed it with barley to make the final shape, and let it dry to firm up. The barley was removed with a hooked wire, then it was vinegarooned, then hardened. The stearic acid, even after being cleaned up, has kind of a chalky look it certain spots. I tried a whole lot of different finishes on the outside to reduce that, I think carnauba creme worked pretty well. I water tested it, saw the leaks, and added rosin and wax sealant. Then braided the cord, shaped a piece of deer antler, and done.

Aligning the edges of the bottle bottom, then stitching in place, was very fidgety.

This is also my first time using lucet cord, and making a freestanding water container. As I suspected, I had some leaks in the bottom corners because they were very difficult to get matched perfectly. I ended up lining the inside with a mix of pine rosin and beeswax, and now it’s watertight. Next time I make a watertight standing container, I’ll make it round instead.

Braiding Ritza tiger thread into cord with a lucet.
Sealing the corners up with pine rosin and beeswax.

2 thoughts on “X1 Hardened Leather Bottle”

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