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Re: [BKARTS] Leather

If you're serious about learning to work with leather, willing to spend $50 on a very good paring knife, ... at the very least buy only vegetable tanned leather. You'll at least be able to have a chance at paring it. Most commercial leathers are chrome (mineral) tanned and very hard to pare, even with a very good knife. The leather is just too stretchy. It'll also dull your knife very quickly. Knife sharpness and comfort are going to be VERY critical. With a dull knife that doesn't feel comfortable you'll never be able to achieve good results. The best knifes by far are to be had from Jeff Peachey. See <http://www.philobiblon.com/suppliers.shtml> for more info.

In terms of leathers, the real kind, goat is the best to work with, then comes calf. The latter is thinner and much more delicate. Cowhide can be had, but tends to be very thick and hard... Experiment. My honest feeling is that unless you really can't afford to get the "real" leathers, the best tools, and don't have the time to shred a few skins, not to bother with leather. It'll be a lot of cursing, and not so great results, all leading to discouragement... Many will disagree with this opinion, but there you have it.


If I were to buy leather on ebay, I see vendors offering 2oz and 1oz.
Would anyone care to elaborate some? Which should I think about etc


Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
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