Last week I did put in an order for my linen thread (for those who wanted to piggy-back, I didn't have enough room on my credit card for anything more once we put together our own order - maybe next time). It should hopefully arrive sometime this week so I can get started on assembly.
This weekend I spent a bit of time down in the basement cutting out some of the pieces for the stick-purse though. I have to say, I'm concerned the leather isn't going to work. I bought the thinnest stuff I could find, 2 oz goat, but handling it as I was cutting it, I have a feeling it will still be too stiff for the pouch body and the pouchlet.
The original purse at the Fries Museum was actually made of chamois leather, which is an oil tanning method different from veg tan. Here's some information on the different tanning methods: http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/pl.html
I think I'm going to put a hold on cutting all of the parts out and just cut out one piece of each pouch piece. Once the thread comes in, I'll assemble a single pouch to see how it looks. If it doesn't work I'll need to figure out an alternative.
So what are my alternatives:
- According to the link above, buckskin and brain/deer tanned leather are also period and are essentially an oil tannage (similar to chamois), so that could be an alternative. I know Zeli's carries it, but whether it is true brain tanned leather or just chrome tanned made to look like it is another question.
- I could use my chrome tan pig skin that I have been using for pouches. It's light and flexible and would work really well (its actually what I used for my mock-up). If I can demonstrate that the actual period materials are not reasonably available and I knowingly made the substitution for the closest modern equivalent I could find, it should be OK.
The one concern I have is that I don't think my period dyes will work on either of these leathers. It certainly won't work on the chrome tan. In theory though, the leather on the handle would have needed to be a bit stiffer to weave it properly, so I could use my veg tan for that component and dye it as I originally planned.
More to come I'm sure in the next few weeks.