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Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:28 pm
by lidimy
deBrownhill wrote:Hi,
I was wondering if anyone knows how to cure animal skins so they don't rot.
You need to ask the De Cliffords, who post on here :D

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:29 pm
by deBrownhill
thank you.

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:35 pm
by lidimy
Should probably explain that actually, the De Cliffords are traders who sell furs and such (and sweets...) and obviously they know a _lot_ about their subject. I think they use brains for the process you are looking for.


Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:47 pm
by deBrownhill
again, thank you, its not urgent at the moment though I need to know in time for the next season.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:44 am
by Maladicta
Friends of mine cured a horse skin using its brains and I think some ash? Can't really remember... I can give you their contact details though if you’re interested?

Oh - they did a photo doc on it :D :

The photos are under Gallery. And the explanation is under 'Working Dogs' - Tanning. Apparently each animal had enough brains to cure their skin. What a wonderful thing nature is. 8)

Hope this helps - if not it should be fun to try anyway - remember though - wear gloves.


Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:03 am
by deBrownhill
thank you, will try that, and post the results whatever they happen to be, again, thank you.

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:15 am
by Kate Tiler
Bump = blowed if I can figure out how to sticky it Jorge - can you do it as you are a Mod too?!

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:01 pm
by Dave B

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:11 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
what a usefull thread.
being new to this I have questions but I have few answers to help others with.

Q: what types of paint were used to protect metal and prevent corrosion in medieval times?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:20 pm
by Dave B
Will move to general history and sticky there, as suggested by Jorge, because this is not neccesarily era specific.
Bit of a fusspot is Jorge. :wink:

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:43 pm
by gregory23b
"Bit of a fusspot is Jorge. "

ha, I refer you to the post immediately above yours ;-)

many thanks Dave.

MIght encourage more additions, esp as now we have the notion of collating information and all that.

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:56 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
no answer yet to my paint question, at a guess and using what has been mentioned I would try a varnish base with the black form of iron oxide, dried out and added to the varnish for those items that cant be kept oiled, some electro plating passivates contain iron oxide I believe

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:13 am
by gregory23b
The painted metal lids in the wallace and armouries seem to be oil based, any other medium woudl not make sense as adhesion would be a major issue, certainly not water based or egg.

And when oil based, invariably that would mean 'varnish', seeing the thickness and visibility of the brush strokes that makes sense.

Whether the primary purpose was to prevent corrosion or for decoration is not known, or whether one was a beneficial side-effect of the other. The black and white armours of the 'landsknechts' seem to use a thick oil-based medium, whcih again is logical.

As for the colours, black is and was easy to make, essentially soot from burning oil, mixes well with varnish, does slow down drying a bit though, but often heavy metal salts were added to varnish to aid drying.

I can say from experience that the varnish media work well with the earths and lampblack, if made properly it should leave a glossy sheen, this is caused by the colophony (pine resin) whcih makes it a varnish rather than just an oil base - very different from modern oil paints.

There is an instruction (late medieval) somewhere for heating armour and then painting it with the varnish (uncoloured) which 'bubbles' and then eventually sets.

Is this thread still active

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:35 pm
by Gothic-Haven
I have a few recipies I have tried and found successful if anyone is interested.. all taken from auth translations mainly late 14th and mid 15th century

Re: Resource: Authentic and cheap methods and recipes

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:10 pm
by gregory23b
I have updated my blog with a brief description of dyed bone ... uring.html


Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:14 pm
by Runesmith
gregory23b wrote:Colin, re the oil and ash, usually oil and ash result in a detergent effect - the basis for soap - hence its cleaning abilities, but I guess if a residue is left that is down to more oil than (ash) can be converted to detergent. But glad you mentioned it though as lye is authentic and cheap A and C as it were.

Use hardwood ash, sift the white ashes from any charcoal once cool of course, place the ashes in a tight woven cloth bag, leave the bag in some water - the strength of lye is dependent on the ratio of water to ash and the 'quality' of the ash, less water to ash and it is usuallty stronger.

Its natural degreasing properties make it great for cleaning cooking utensils, chopping boards etc.

It is also used as a bleaching agent.

Ash with a splash of water is great for cleaning out pots in full view of the public, again it degreases, any charcola in the ash is abrasive. Rinse and heat dry over low fire, add some oil to a cloth and give the pot the thinnest of layers of oil and heat until it smokes - this converts the oil to a carbon layer, seals the pots and wont go rancid.
Be aware that lye made this way can be unexpectedly caustic, handle with care. The traditional test for soap-making lye was to dip a feather in it - if it was strong enough it would dissolve the feather!

Re: Resource: Authentic and cheap methods and recipes

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:21 am
by gregory23b
I have not yet made a lye that strong, it is certainly not anywhere near that when cleaning out pots.

Medieval recipes also say that the lye is strong enough when an egg can float in it and that is after boiling it down.

Re: Resource: Authentic and cheap methods and recipes

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:42 pm
by janifar802
I think so right .