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Softeing Leather For Moccs

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  • Softeing Leather For Moccs

    Hello I do have a question, and I sure hope that someone will be able to help me:(

    I have some black commerical hide that I would like to use for moccs, both uppers and bottoms. The problem is my size 10 gold tip beading needles seem to break all to often:(( That is why I stoped beading for a while, but I would now like to start again. Is there a way to make the hide softer? you know... I hope;) or do I just have to get some better, softer hide like deer? I would be willing to do that, if I had to, just not sure if I should Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated:D

  • #2
    Well for beading on are going to have to stick with size 10 needles..but try sharps..they are shorter and the stress on shorter needles is less for breaking and bending.
    If you are using size 10 needles for sewing the leather.. STOP!!! Go get some leather or "skin" needles from a beadstore, leather store or furrier..... size 3 is my preferred (or is it 5?) one of those two...not too thin but not too thick..might be size 5 actually... are'nt going to get cowhide any softer (guessing it is cowhide) and it don't stretch..would not recommend it for mocassins at all unless you just want to make yourself some house slippers in that boat shoe shaped moccasin style. Give in and get yourself some deer hide or even moose hide.
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


    • #3
      I have to agree with Blackbear here. If that leather is cowhide splits it is very difficult to use for moccs.

      I took a course on mocc making at UNM about ten years ago. Because we made 10 pairs in a 6 week period, we used the cheaper cowhide splits. The stuff was unforgiving. Any unevenness in the sewing showed and the leather didn't seal back around the thread, allowing dew and dust to work in through the seams. I tried to bead a pair. I think I put more holes in my fingers with the eye of the needle than I made with the point. And worst of all, the thread cut the hide and the beadwork pulled out.

      If you are trying to soften latigo for the soles, a good massage :) works wonders. After I cut the soles, I flex and rool the leather heel-toe to make it easier to turn.



      • #4
        Thanks for the reply all, I guess it is cowhide as it is both suede on each side:( I will take your advice and get some better hide. Thanks for the info, and I hope this will aliviate some problems such as stuck fingers and broken needes Also I do not sew the hide with 10 sharps, just bead with those. Great advice blackbear, I will look for those in the store:)


        • #5
          If you still want to soften the hide. I've been working on making my my buckskin. The ways that I learned were to use a pumice stone and massage it into the hide. Or make a bow with a cable or a thick rope and tie it to a post or a tree. Run it across the cable it should soften it but it does take a little work.

          However I have never used cowhide. So I don't know much about it your probably better off taking their advice.
          "Tell me friend, you who dwells in the dark and the deep, How may I venture unafraid, into the dark world of half death"


          • #6
            keep in mind though warhoop with suede...especially cowhide suede that rubbing or working the leather will totally removed the suede look and make it kinda dull and smooth. You don't really get that problem with deer for some reason...maybe cause it is so pliable....(Hmm..a new thing for me to ponder just before bed)
            Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


            • #7
              So I take it deer hide is the best to work with eh?;) When I next run into some dough, I will head over to the trappers association and buy some:)


              • #8
                First let me tell everyone I have a new name, my old one was alaskashadowwolf, for some reason my account froze. So I'm reintroducing myself to all my old friends here.

                I just got some nice smoked buckskin off e-bay. I was skeptical about doing this, but things turned out for the best. Come to find out the guy I got the hide from lives about 5 miles away. Anyway I got a piece to try it out. 10sq ft piece for $26 and that included the shipping. Not too bad. The color is nice and so is the quality of the hide. i sent the guy a couple e-mails and he's willing to sell me choice hand picked hides directly for $3 a SQ FT.
                Just something to keep in mind!!!!!
                The things you are doing today are the traditions of twenty-five years from now.
                -Daryl Baldwin: Miami



                • #9
                  I will definitly keep that in mind! Thank you!
                  Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


                  • #10
                    so who did u buy the leather from on ebay?
                    The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.


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