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fur-msg - 2/13/08

 

Use of fur in period. How to work with it in the SCA. Fake fur. Dyeing fur.

What to do with scraps of fur.

 

NOTE: See also the files: textiles-msg, velvet-msg, horn-msg, ivory-msg, leather-msg, leather-dyeing-msg, parchment-msg, feathers-msg, cloaks-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.

 

Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 12:42:53 EST

From: LRSTCS <LRSTCS at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Fake fur references & techniques

 

Here's the references I mentioned.

 

Swedish Handcraft by Anna-Maja Nyle'n, ISBN 91-7114-220-7

 

Looks like a coffee table book but actually has a lot of neat info on feasting

customs, early scandanavian ways of life, trade routes etc., also has

woodworking, metal working, notes on castle inventories etc.

 

Russian type hat-fake fur technique

 

Handwoven Magazine by Interweave press issue jan/Feb 1994, Fleece-edged Hat

 

With a few minor changes - color selection, etc. - has lots of possibilites

for a period hat.

 

Magge

 

 

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 17:35:00 -0600

From: KATHARINE WHISLER <kwhisler at kentlaw.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Dyeing Fur

 

Yve asked about dyeing fur.

 

Fur is protein, so you can use the same type of dye you use to dye wool or

silk.  However, you don't want to ruin the skin, so you should avoid using

any type of dye that you need to boil.  Your best bet would be dye that

works for feathers or leather.  Check the local Tandy store for leather

dyes, or try the type of "French" alcohol & water dyes used for silk

painting.  I know these work for feathers, they should work for fur as well.

 

--Kathy/Katerina

 

 

From: N56MTred at aol.com

Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 00:39:00 EST

Subject: Rabbit lined cloaks

To: stefan at florilegium.org

 

Hi - I visited your web site in search of info about cloaks and read about

someone having a problem with trying to line a cloak with rabbit fur.

Basically she was afraid the leather of the rabbit would not be strong enough

to fit around the shoulders and would tear over time.  This supposition is

true.  Quilting was suggested by someone and this will work fairly well -

subject to how well the quilting is done.  There is an alternative to

quilting - use the new type of iron on interfacing pelon that is readily

available in several weights at almost any fabric store. The leather will

take the heat necessary to bond the material if applied according to standard

directions. I have found that applying the pelon before cutting and sewing

works best. I have recycled old fur coats purchased at rummage sales and

secondhand clothing stores using this method with good results. This method

also helps keep the fur from shedding if it is old, poorly tanned, or has

been stored improperly.

 

Hope this information can be of use to some of your readers.

 

Sincerely,

   Nanzy Chandler-Brown

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 12:49:40 -0800

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: SC - fleece cleaning

 

[the question was how to rejuvinate a matted, worn fleece that might

not make it through the clothes washer again]

 

I've been advised that you shampoo the fur side with baby shampoo, let

it dry, then rub lots of mink oil or other conditioner into the skin

side.

 

Selene

 

 

From: mikea at mikea.ath.cx (Mike Andrews)

Subject: Re: Uses for sheepskin scraps and rabbit skins

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Department of Forensic Thaumaturgy, Miskatonic University, Arkham, MA

Date: Sat, 07 Jul 2001 00:53:39 GMT

 

Nomad in Starkhafn <NomadNStarkhafnNOSPAM at aol.com> wrote:

: Okay, I've got 5 white(ish) rabbit skins and some sheepskin scraps

: (some of the scraps are fairly long). Any ideas what to use them for?

: I'm just looking for ideas (SCA related of course) and I'd appreciate

: it. Many thanks in advance. :-)

 

You can cook down odd scraps to make hide glue. It takes a

while and may not emit the most pleasant odors, but it's a

useful glue. A crock pot will be useful here.

 

A quick Google search on "making hide glue" was very productive,

and here are a _few_ of the resulting URLs:

 

<http://www.redrival.com/knapanon/glue.html>;

<http://www.uqac.uquebec.ca/PleinAir/toolsgl1.htm>;

<http://www.artrans.com/rmsg/_newsgroups/toolsgl1.htm>;

                (also has info on making bone needles)

<http://www.vanedwar.dircon.co.uk/glue.htm>;

                The Glue FAQ -- with info on using hide glue

<http://www.his.com/~tom/sca/glue.html>;

                Pointers to Cennini's and Theophilous' books.

                I have Cennini's, and strongly recommend it.

<http://www.florilegium.org/files/CRAFTS/glues-msg.html>;

                This Florilegium article has posts from some folks

                whom I _very_ highly respect, including Balderik,

                Iolo, Diarmuid ui Duinn, and Thomas Peregrinus.

 

--

Mike Andrews    /       Michael Fenwick         Namron, Ansteorra

mikea at mikea.ath.cx

Tired old music Laurel since 1986

 

 

From: inge <lyorn at gmx.de>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Uses for sheepskin scraps and rabbit skins

Date: Sat, 07 Jul 2001 03:34:38 +0200

 

Nomad in Starkhafn wrote:

> Okay, I've got 5 white(ish) rabbit skins and some sheepskin scraps

> (some of the scraps are fairly long). Any ideas what to use them for?

> I'm just looking for ideas (SCA related of course) and I'd appreciate

> it. Many thanks in advance. :-)

 

Fur trim on cloaks or other winter garb. (If you have winter in Caid ;-)

 

inge

 

 

From: "Ken Koll aka Lord Valdis of Gotland" <lvaldis at mail.cvn.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Uses for sheepskin scraps and rabbit skins

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 23:24:50 -0400

 

> Nomad in Starkhafn wrote:

> > Okay, I've got 5 white(ish) rabbit skins and some sheepskin scraps

> > (some of the scraps are fairly long). Any ideas what to use them for?

> > I'm just looking for ideas (SCA related of course) and I'd appreciate

> > it. Many thanks in advance. :-)

 

pouches, favors, trim, finger puppets, outfit a group in tuchux garb (that

many skins should do at least a dozen woman or a dozen and a half men),

chair padding, bedspread, chair covering, shawl or cloak...I am still

thinking but these should keep you busy.  Only make glue if fur is nasty

nasty, hide glue is not expensive and can be bought.  Have fun.

 

Lord Valdis of Gotland

 

 

From: "james rich" <7152 at cableone.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Uses for sheepskin scraps and rabbit skins

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 22:05:36 -0500

 

If the scraps are not large enough to trim a cloak or adult garb, use them

to trim a child's or even a doll's garb, or perhaps as trim for an accessory

such as a pouch.  Do you have enough to make a collar and/or cuffs? If you

just have tiny scraps, how about paintbrushes?  Hmm...

 

AElfwenna

 

 

Subject: [Ansteorra] Period furs- long

Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 15:43:50 -0600

From: "C. Weed" <cweed at austin.rr.com>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

 

Colete penned:

 

Switching gears here... Common sense tells me

that if the cat was skinned then the fur might

have been used for lining tunics, cloaks, and

various other parts of clothing. How true is

this? (I've always imagine lining as bunny fur.)

*******

 

My research in this area is very limited as I try to stick to the timeframes

with which I'm most enamored: 1430-1495 in southern France and what is now

Germany, and more recently 1560-1570 in Holland.

 

Strictly using paintings and written sources, fur almost never appears as a

lining of even the lower or middle class citizens in the Burgundian era.

Squirrel seems to be the most predominant fur for lining the heavy outer

garments for the upper class.  Ermine is generally used for garments of

ceremony, although it can be seen in some upper-class garments (see van Eyks

"Arnolfini Wedding" or "St. Jerome at His Study" dated 1434 and 1441,

respectively).  These examples of a slickish white fur *could* be a

depiction of rabbit but I find it unlikely due to the remarkable fragility

of rabbit skin on the whole and the implication of status that ermine in the

white brings.

 

In contrast, ermine is not often found in Dutch portraiture of a hundred

years later, being seen nearly exclusively on court and (less commonly)

clerical vestments.  On the rare occasions that the lower class is depicted

with a fur lined garment at all (see Breughels "Peasant Dance") the garment

appears to be either a cast off or worn out trapping of a wealthier previous

owner.

 

Whenever the question of what fur to use pops up, keep in mind the capacity

in which it will be used.  If it's for Duchess Politicalmarriage, then it's

likely to be rare and expensive and hard to acquire.  Ever try to nab a

squirrel without a shotgun?  The clever little buggers learn about traps

quickly... and ermine are even worse being even smaller and in the weasel

family.  Squirrel is the more durable of the two- what a coincidence that we

see it on a lot of outdoor scenes.  My wife is about to undertake the

construction of a mens houppelande entirely lined in squirrel and guesses at

around 125 of the little devils are going to have to join in and help- I'll

let you speculate on what it would take in ermine at 1/4 the size.

 

It just isn't practical for the commoner to wear fur, even when there are no

ordinances against it.  You can't wear it when you're hot.  It stinks when

it's wet.  It gets stiff.  In order to get it to last you have to wear the

furs that aren't all that much to look at.  You might as well wear wool...

so they did.  The exceptions seem to be mittens and hats.  Requiring less

fur to make as well as fur that is not as fine, we see both of these items

in abundance in the art of both of these timeframes.  Stiffness in a hat is

often desirable.  Here, if anywhere, is where you might see rabbit fur, what

with it's ready availability to the lower classes everywhere in Europe.

 

As a final related note, animal *tails* are often seen dangling from the

clothing and belts and sundry possessions of sca-ers.  In both the periods I

mention, having animal tails depending from you or your possessions is an

indicator to those around you that you are either an invalid or insane or in

some other way not suited for any other task than begging for alms. (see

Brueghels "Battle Between Carnival and Lent" or "The Cripples" for details)

 

 

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Period furs- short rebuttal

Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 16:32:15 -0800 (PST)

From: Holly Frantz <hefrantz at yahoo.com>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

 

For two examples of animal tails and parts (not

necessarily ermine) in period portraiture, please see:

 

Family of Uberto de' Sacrati, c. 1480, possibly a family of idiots?

Man with a Golden Paw, c. 1527, may be a real paw, may be jewelry

 

Both available at the web gallery of art.

http://gallery.euroweb.hu/

 

Niccola Setaro

 

 

Subject: RE: [Ansteorra] Period furs- short rebuttal

Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 00:25:23 -0600

From: "C. Weed" <cweed at austin.rr.com>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

 

Niccola Setaro penned:

For two examples of animal tails and parts (not

necessarily ermine) in period portraiture, please see:

 

Family of Uberto de' Sacrati, c. 1480, possibly a family of idiots?

Man with a Golden Paw, c. 1527, may be a real paw, may be jewelry

 

Both available at the web gallery of art.

 

http://gallery.euroweb.hu/

 

***********

 

In the family portrait you refer to, the prominent 'danglies' depending from

the upper sleeves of both father and son are not, in point of fact, animal

tails.  Rather, they are thick cloth points used to attach the outer sleeves

(obviously not pictured here).  The wide bow-tie type points first appear on

the fashion scene around the time of this portrait (c. 1480)and can widely

be seen up through the cavalier period.  Ghirlandaios "Herrods Banquet" has

several examples of that same strange mid-sleeve placement. Other examples

of points of a similar thickness can be found at the site you mentioned in

the following portraiture (I didn't get past the letter 'D' in the 1550s but

I think this will do for a start):

 

1470-1500

BOLTRAFFIO, Giovanni Antonio "Portrait of a Young Woman"

BOTTICELLI, Sandro "Portrait of an Unknown Personage with the Medal of

Cosimo il Vecchio"

COSTA, Lorenzo "Portrait of a Woman"

TURA, Cosme "Portrait of a Young Man"

 

1500-1550

BORGO„A, Juan de "Lady with a Hare"

BRONZINO, Agnolo "Lucrezia Panciatichi"

D†RER, Albrecht "Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman"

 

I would like to add my own short qualifiers, however, concerning tails and

fur:

 

Firstly, that ermine tails seem to have always been outside the regular

implication that other animal tails seem to represent.  Their tiny black dot

seems to consistently have been just the chic addition to judicial and royal

robes from the 1300s onwards.

 

Secondly, that fox seems to have risen sharply in popularity in the 16th

century (but only readily available to the upper and upper-middle class yet

again).  Fox tails, however, still indicate that the wearer is drooling on

the church steps.

 

Lastly, that as Lady Niccola pointed towards already, there became in the

late 15th century and all through the 16th century an affinity for other

animal bits to be gilded and trussed with loot and toted about as jewelry.

Heads and feet seem to be the rule on these morbid little treasures.

Although not represented on the Web Gallery of Art, Moroni did a wonderful

portrait of a lady in pink (recently on display in Dallas) with what can

only be described as The Great Gilded Weasel Head of Gaud.  It's creepy and

cool, all in one... kind of Addams Family meets the Medici Family.

 

Sir Dieterich

 

 

Subject: RE: [Ansteorra] Period furs- short rebuttal

Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 06:29:53 -0800 (PST)

From: Holly Frantz <hefrantz at yahoo.com>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

 

Sir Dietrich, I'm sorry but I have to disagree with

you.  I'm familiar with all of the portraits that

you've mentioned and I've looked at them again.  In

these portraits, these ties are obviously attached to

the top or shoulder of the outer garment.  Now, that

shoulder may actually extend half-way down the arm so

that it appears that the ties are attached on the arm

itself but they are really attached to the outer

garment and don't extend from the arm of the shirt or

chemise.  In most of these portraits it's also very

easy to see that what is depicted is a wide ribbon or

tie.

 

The only portrait that has clothes and ties that bear

a resemblence to the family portrait I mentioned is

Tura's "Portrait of a Young Man".  Though, if they are

the same, then the unknown artist of Uberto de'

Sacrati's family did an exceedinly poor job of

rendering the ties, choosing to make them all a

stylized shape and hanging as if they had a certain

amount of weight and not free-hanging ribbons or ties.

 

 

Subject: [Ansteorra] Period furs- long

Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 18:57:17 -0600

From: Alexandria Doyle <dragonlair at wireweb.net>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

 

> These examples of a slickish white fur *could* be a

> depiction of rabbit but I find it unlikely due to the remarkable fragility

> of rabbit skin on the whole and the implication of status that ermine in the

> white brings.

 

In the inventories of Queen Elizabeth, there are records of rabbit fur

being used for linings and trimming for her gowns.  Sable, ermine and

varieties of rabbit were the most common, also used were mink and

squirrel, with lettice, lamb and wolf used infrequently.  There is also

mention of sable being used for tippets which were worn around the neck

and shoulders.

 

Alexandria

 

 

Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 20:21:48 -0400

From: Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue at thibault.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Garb materials: fur

 

If you're looking to add fur trim or lining to garb, a post on the

Historic Costume list told us the keywords to look for on eBay: "fur

cutter."  Lots of different coats & whatnot, with holes or rips, for

around $5-$10 each.

 

cv

 

 

Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2006 08:16:40 -0400

From: "Saint Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT Air Mattress (was Pennsic Pity Party)

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On 6/1/06, Micaylah <dy018 at ncf.ca> wrote:

> Actually I could just sit in my backyard and wait for bambi to saunter by. I

> live in a city but my house is on a hydro corridor that leads to the Ottawa

> River. When the coyotes and wolves aren't around the deer and bunnies come

> back. (if I could just stop stepping on the babies in the grass- twice this

> week!)

>

> There is also a deer farm just outside of Ottawa that I use as my venison

> source. I wonder if he sells hides? I cant imagine him allowing them to go

> to waste. tsk tsk

>

> Micaylah

 

DON'T try to use deer hide with the hair on. Because of the nature of the

hair, it will shed...and shed, and shed, and shed, and shed. Other critters

are fine, because the construction of their hides and the hair is different-

you'd love a bear hide, for example, although it's a bit heavy- but on

deer hide is out. I mean, those of us who have cats are used to everything

we own having cat hair on it. A deer hide is MUCH worse, and will shed a bit

at a time, for years, until it is bald. There's a definite reason Natvie

Americans used buck SKINS, not buck FURS.

--

Saint Phlip (leathersmith, among other thjings...)

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org