The colour of leather in 1370...

Moderator: Moderators

red_herne
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:49 am
Location: Witney Oxfordshire

The colour of leather in 1370...

Postby red_herne » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:55 pm

Hi all,

Just wondering, what colour leather dyes were available in 1370? And what colours were available to what rank? (ie, villein, yeoman, retainer and knight)

Cheers, Anthony


Nock, draw, loose.... repeat till as needed till all French fall over...

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:55 pm

Undyed leather, left in the sun and well oiled goes a nice brown colour. That's your basic start for leatherwares. At a slightly higher cost, if you leave iron in contact with wet leather, both go black, making black a fairly cheap colour to get in leather.

If I recall correctly, yellow can be acheived with persion berrys and red with logwood (obviously we're getting more expensive now). You could also get blue and green dyes for leather.

The best leather (for shoes at least) was Cordovan, which was tradionally dyed red.

You could also get white leather by tawing it rather than tanning it.

You could also paint your leather.


What I'm not sure about is what colours were used by who and for what. It's possible that purses were never coloured, but belts always were. Or possibly even the other way round, I really don't know about this. For a guide on that, look a medieval pictures.

All the best.


Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

User avatar
Sophia
Post Centurion
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Camberwell, London
Contact:

Postby Sophia » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:20 pm

Actually red for leather is generally Brazilwood according to Karl Robinson - he is well worth talking to about this subject. He also makes the most wonderful pouches and can advise on appropriate shapes for status, gender and period.

Sophia :D


aka Thomasin Chedzoy, Tailor at Kentwell Hall

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:19 pm

Sophia wrote:Actually red for leather is generally Brazilwood according to Karl Robinson - he is well worth talking to about this subject. He also makes the most wonderful pouches and can advise on appropriate shapes for status, gender and period.

Sophia :D


Sorry, my mistake.


Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

User avatar
Tod
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2884
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:25 am
Location: A small part of Scotland hidden in middle England
Contact:

Postby Tod » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:03 pm

It depends on what you are going to use the leather for.

The trap many fall into was that leather was nearly always black. Because what is in the museums is black.
Colin is right a good guide is tan to dark brown. With them you can't go wrong really, if you want to go up market go for brighter colours. Pale for dyed, strong for painted.



Dave Key
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:27 pm

Postby Dave Key » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:55 am

From recollection colours in documents may notmean what you think ...

White leather means tawed, generally non-bovine, leather (whittawed) which uses alum and so although it maybe whiteit is not necessarily so.
Black leather is tanned bovine 'finished' leather
Red leather is unfinished leather and so not necessarily 'red' at all.

Fun this isn't it :-)

Cheers
Dave



User avatar
John Waller
Post Knight
Posts: 1551
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey

Postby John Waller » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:28 am

Dave Key wrote:From recollection colours in documents may notmean what you think ...

White leather means tawed, generally non-bovine, leather (whittawed) which uses alum and so although it maybe whiteit is not necessarily so.
Black leather is tanned bovine 'finished' leather
Red leather is unfinished leather and so not necessarily 'red' at all.

Fun this isn't it :-)

Cheers
Dave


Indeed it can be very confusing when a colour is used to describe the quality of a product IIRC Lincoln Green was not, at least originally, green woolen cloth, but rather a quality of cloth, as was Lincoln Scarlet.

Just because something is described by a colour does not mean it is that colour!


Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:37 pm

Thank you Dave,

I'd suspected somethink like that for a couple of years now, but never found anything to support or clarify the suspicion.

That explanes why Cordovan was always red (i.e. unfinshed, rather than dyed a particular colour) and why 'black boots' are always so expensive!

:D


Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:05 pm

However, recipes exist for

red leather

black

green

purple

blue

see the authentic and cheap thread for more comprehensive info


:D


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf


Return to “1100-1500”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests