Pig bristles

Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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Re: Pig bristles

#26 Post by das » Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:03 pm

M.,

Great dialogue. "Early" was sloppy of me. I'm thinking 1590s-1600, Dekker and Deloney, for these, though Marc has some "earlier" shoemakers' needle refs. I think [Marc?]. Yup, for whipping inside linings, stiffeners, etc., but I'm seeing leather uppers, 1700s, with back-stitching around the top-line to secure the edge-binding first, before it's rolled over and whipped inside. This is usually evidenced by pairs of holes stabbed right near the cut edge that go like this: .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Could have been from a running stitch as well, except back-stitching, in practice, does a much better job, and both leave these "pairs" of holes, so.....? And, this of course could be done quickly and easily with a "carrelet" type needle, just like the whipping.

Can you tell us more about these here curved Roman awls, and the 15thc.? Any guesses as to their original curves? Were they a "(" curve with a straight tang, like the Continental awls, or more of that compound/recurved shape, or long "S" with a straight tang, like English awls? Were they round in cross-section, oval, flat, or diamond? Are these recent discoveries, or are they published someplace?

Marc's 4thc. thing was indeed a gem. Marc--did you ever get more of a full citation for that, author/attribution, etc.?

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Re: Pig bristles

#27 Post by marc » Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:59 pm

Al, yes, I did (and sent it to you although it may have gotten eaten with your recent computer problems). The Testamentum Porcelli is apparently
fairly well known (if you happen to spend a lot of time reading old Latin texts Image ). The easiest version to find is in Petronius Arbiter. Petronii
Saturae et Liber Priapeorum. Berolini Apvd Weidmannos 1912. This is quoted in a variety of web pages.

Notably http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/porcelli.html
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/LAT0286/_P1.HTM
http://www.fh-augsburg.de/~harsch/Chronologia/Lspost04/Porcellus/por_test.html
http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/testamentum.html
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/3656/porco.htm
http://www.noctes-gallicanae.org/Testamentum%20porcelli/Testamentum_porcelli.htm
http://www.celtiberia.net/articulo.asp?id=1149

Marc

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Re: Pig bristles

#28 Post by marc » Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:26 pm

M,

Without getting into a whole thing about how they did it, one way or another. I do feel I need to mention that when I use needles, I don't put both needles through at the same time when I want a small hole - they go through one at a time and as long as I don't tighten the threads until both are through the stitch tension (the reason for using two threads simultaneously) isn't messed up. Therefore the holes need only to be slightly larger than A needle (I use what appears to be .8 mm needles for closing uppers – rounded end or sharps (which are fine as long as I know where the thread is in the hole)).

Most of the holes I make, whether for needles or bristles, the holes tend to average 1-2 mm based on the awl I’m using.

I’m not disputing your findings, but just to give some scale, .5 mm is a little larger than
your 4 oz linen thread. While I can make a .5 mm diameter hole with a small awl (straight or curved), it only has a depth of less than a mm because of the spread of the awl blade. To do this, I’ll have to use a small straight pin for an awl and assume the leather will close back up around thread. Fortunately, I –do- have pig hair that is smaller than .5 mm

Which does bring up the question of how much the leather actually shrink when the hole is pierced, as well as how much does it shrink over time and after excavation.

Marc

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Re: Pig bristles

#29 Post by M_Volken » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:43 pm

Marc,

"they go through one at a time and as long as I don't tighten the threads until both are through the stitch tension (the reason for using two threads simultaneously) isn't messed up. Therefore the holes need only to be slightly larger than A needle"

From your description you seem to be stitching like a post 1850's saddler. Just to be clear, so you make a hole with the awl, then put one needle and its thread in, pull it through to the other side, then put the second needle in, pulling it and the first thread (backwards)through, so that the second needle doesn't peirce the first thread, then make your knot, and pull the stitch tight? Is that what you are doing? Doesn't the hole then need to be as wide as the needle thickness plus the first thread? Saddle makers in Europe formerly stitched with boar bristles but slowly changed over in the 19th century to needles and machine made thread, and finally to all machine work with the exception of the apprentice final piece and the master's piece.

".5 mm is a little larger than
your 4 oz linen thread. While I can make a .5 mm diameter hole with a small awl (straight or curved), it only has a depth of less than a mm because of the spread of the awl blade. To do this, I’ll have to use a small straight pin for an awl"

Sorry, I don't know about oz's, those things don't exist here. I can say that the finest linen thread made as a three strand waxed end is about 0.8 to 0.9 mm. Any proper fine round awl makes a hole sufficient to pull both bristles and their threads through at the same time, the tapered part of the bristle gently eases the threads through. I can't imagine how you use a straight pin as an awl, you are certainly inventive!
Often on fine med. work, the whip stiching holes are not deeper than 1.0 mm, something impossible on leather tanned with catechol type tannins but easy on pyrogallol type. This is probably one of the many reasons why oak bark tanned leather (pyrogallol) was so prized.
M.

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Re: Pig bristles

#30 Post by marc » Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:23 pm

M,
From your description you seem to be stitching like a post 1850's saddler. Just to be clear, so you make a hole with the awl, then put one needle and its thread in, pull it through to the other side, then put the second needle in, pulling it and the first thread (backwards)through, so that the second needle doesn't peirce the first thread, then make your knot, and pull the stitch tight? Is that what you are doing?


Not really. When using needles, I make the hole with the awl, then put one needle and thread through the hole so that the needle's completely out, pull the thread in the hole to one side of the hole (laterally) while I insert the other needle between the thread and the leather, and then pull both threads through. The back and forth thing of pulling the thread backwards, I've only heard of that recently and that was with bristles. If saddlers are doing it, the rumors I've heard that they were using bristles and went to needles later would make more sense, because the motion makes no sense to me with needles - although it does help keep from pulling off a bristle.

I will dispute that whip stitching 1 mm holes being impossible in catechol leathers - more difficult certainly, and certainly not the easy pleasure that the more traditionally done leathers are. It just takes practice, a good needle, and some currying Image

Marc

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Re: Pig bristles

#31 Post by M. Volken » Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:33 pm

Al,
The roman curved awls have a straight tang like the continentals, with the tip curved up. The profile is squarish up until the tip where it flattens out. There are quite a few published. I will try to get one of the drawings scanned in and posted. There are actually two kinds of curved ones, a thick one and a fine one. I think the thick one was used for tunnel stitched thonging and the finer one for stitching.
There are two basic kinds of roman awls, ones that are all of iron or just a wood button, and awls with wooden handles. The solid iron ones are a surprise to stitch with. One would think that the weight and the double pyramidal shape (square profile handle) doesn't look comfortable, but it is really good in the hand.

For the edge binding on women's textile covered, there are some good existing examples from Northampton, and Bally, showing long stitches on the inside and petit point on the outside edge. As the thread makes a serpentine stitch through the textile edge binding, the textile covering, and the light leather of the upper, a needle of some sort would be the best, bristles are the dickens to use on 'un sandwiched' leather. Of course, if you had forgotten your flashlight it would have been impossible to see. Plus there is so much to see, I am sure there were more fascinating things than tatty old ladies shoes to attract your attention. ;)
M.
M.

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Re: Pig bristles

#32 Post by m.volken » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:09 am

Here the drawing (I hope)

It is from : PERNON, Jaques et Christine : Les pottiers de Partout, production, activités et cadre de vie d'un atelier au Ve siècle ap. J-C en Savoie, Ed. CNRS, Paris 1990, Plate IV.

\image {romal curved awl}

m.volken

Re: Pig bristles

#33 Post by m.volken » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:12 am

3515.jpg

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Re: Pig bristles

#34 Post by marc » Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:14 am

That thing's huge. That's what, about 18 cm long? (or a bit over 7").

Interesting... Thank you.

Marc

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Re: Pig bristles

#35 Post by das » Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:08 am

M.,

Very cool,thanks. And that's purpose-bent, not maybe a straight one that got buggered-up in use?

M. Volken

Re: Pig bristles

#36 Post by M. Volken » Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:45 am

Al, Marc,
Yes, purpose bent, like many others of the same style. Look at the cross sections near the tip, round then flattened out to make a good stab into the leather. This example is well preserved, most others are missing the very tip, so the curve isn't so pretty. The earlier ones have a more marked curve near the tip, and are often heavier. That's why I thought of this one as light and elegant shaped.
M.

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Re: Pig bristles

#37 Post by roy_najecki » Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:26 am

“There being 16000 pairs of Soles, 250 Sets of Shoemakers Tools, 14 Dozen Pounds of Shoemakers Thread, 40 Pounds of Shoemakers Bristles, 200000 Shoemakers Pegs, and 450 Shoemakers lasts. The several Regiments will receive their Proportions .... The Soles are to paid for at the rate of 12 Shillings / 9 Pence per dozen pair. The Tools, thread, Bristles, Pegs and Lasts, are to be given gratis. The Paymasters of Regiments will make proper Stoppages for the number of pairs of Soles they receive.” - New York, 26 Jan 1777, British General Orders

That's a lot of bristle!

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Re: Pig bristles

#38 Post by das » Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:35 am

Roy,

Very cool!

Can you give us chapter and verse on where those orders are published?

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Re: Pig bristles

#39 Post by roy_najecki » Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:01 am

This excerpt is from the Orderly Book of Sir William Howe, Commander in Chief (26 Sept 1776 - 2 June 1777) as kept by Capt. Henry Knight, Aide to Camp. 3 volumes, 320 manuscript pages in the New York Historical Society Collection. A friend, Skip Riddle, transcribed it about twenty years ago and put it on Lotus 1-2-3. I don't think the OB has been recently published, but in the 1870's-1880's the NYHS published a lot of Rev War stuff so maybe it is in print.

I've gathered a lot of British Rev War orders on all manners of military life which I put into a 26-page MS Word document. I'll post all the entries that mention footwear on this forum and email you the complete Word file. If anyone else wants the whole file just drop me an email.

Al, while I think of it, next time I'm in CW I'll bring that chest of cordwainers tools (the leftover from the HCC meeting at OSV years ago). I'm sure you can find them a good home.

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Re: Pig bristles

#40 Post by roy_najecki » Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:13 am

“... only a certain number pair of shoes, thread and worsted stockings arrived from England...” - Boston, 10 June 1775 [73.1]

"The Necessarys of the Detachment are to be Compleated to the following Articles -- Two Pair of Half Gaiters 1s/ pr. pair. The Soles, Socks and half gaiters to be packed up and put on Board the Transports with the new Cloathing." - London, 13 March 1776 [76.12]

“The Soldiers who serv’d last campain at Boston have each rec’d a pair of Shoes & Stockings a woolen cap & a quantity of Tobacco, a donation from the People of England; & the Women who lost their Husbands, ... rec’d for themselves & Children each a pair of shoes & stockings...” 25 May 1776 [76.1]

“Every man is to Disembark with Blanket in which he is to Carry 3 Days provisions one shirt one pair of Socks and one pair of Shoes.” - Long Island, 3 Sept 1776 [76.4]

“Each man to be immediately provided with at least One pair of good Shoes.” Trenton, NJ 13 Dec 1776 [76.5]

“...Commission Linen instead of Ready made Shirts, He expects that Each man be Compleated with 4 good Shirts, 2 pair good Shoes, 3 pairs good worsted Stocking, one good velvet Stock and Either Buckell or Clasp, a pair of Sleeve Buttons, and a pair of Shoe Buckeles, uniform if they Can be purchased.” Trenton, 16 Dec 1776 [76.5]

“...the Number of Shoe soles and heels wanting to Compleat each man with a pair to take with him the Ensuing Campaign.” -
New York, 10 May 1777 [77.5]

“The Paymasters of the several Regiments are to remit as soon as possible to their respective Agents, the Monies they have Stopped for Shoes and Sole Leather issued to the Troops which Monies the Agents are to be accountable for to the Treasury.” - New York, 26 May 1777 [73.1]

“The new Trowzers to be put on this After noon and the Non Commissd Offrs and men keeping three good shirts, two good pr of shoes, A pair of good stockings & 2 pr of socks -- the Surplus of those kind of Necessaries with their Blue Leggons, Briches to be put up with their name on them and the whole of each compy to be put up in one Bundle with the Capts name on it, and to be ready for the Waggon ....” - Amboy NJ, 26 May 1777 [77.5]

“I preambled the shops in Town for necessarys for the men but found very little – the shops almost empty – shoes 2 dollars.” – Philadelphia, 29 Sept 1777 [76.14]

“…the necessaries compleated to at least 4 good Shirts 2 pr Shoes & all the small articles – the new Coats have been on for sometime but not alter’d. The Regt to have white Breetches & blue long gaters, but they are not all made yet. The new Bonnets are cock’d & on, -- The men wear Philibegs yet, made of their old Plaids…” – Philadelphia, 30 Jan 1778 [76.14]

“… walk to the Hutts to see how the Taylors goes on, about ½ the Coats done …” “… sent to the Store to get the Waistcoat Cloth &ca and some Coats changed, which are too small, they are less this year than usual.” “had a Review of Necessaries only 13 prs Shoes & 7 Shirts wanting, the Coats nearly finished & the Westcoat Cloth come up.” -- Brooklyn, 8-18 Sept 1780 [76.14]

“The Lt Col recommends it to us to buy our summer things … express’d a wish to see the Battn uniform in their dress about the legs & thighs Vizt: Linnen breetches, & black Cloth gaiters.” “Having bought the summer dress for the Company (Vizt Linnen breetches of Russia Sheeting, & black cloth long gaters) gave out their clearance to the 23d [wages after stoppages]. “… several men drunk on the parade this morning no keeping them sober when get money.” -- Brooklyn, 7-20 March 1781 [76.14]

“...no Soldier lands with more necessaries than his Blanket, Canteen, Haversack, Two pair of Trowzers, Two pair of Stockings, and Two Shirts, and Two pair of good Shoes.” - Virginia, 23 May 1781 [81.1]

“A Return from each Company ... to the Quarter Master of the Number of Shoes they want to Compleat their Men to two good pair as he has directions to purchase the Number for the Regiment.” - Virginia, 27 June 1781 [81.1]

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Re: Pig bristles

#41 Post by das » Sat Mar 26, 2005 5:15 am

Roy,

Great excerpts. Thanks for posting them. BTW, the one about the cocked bonnets and philibegs, which regiments(s) would that be applying to at that date in NYC?

Just curious, clue me in, why does everybody these days in the reenactment community interpret "trousers" for the British Army as gaiter-trousers/overalls, rather than plain old open-legged trousers? And maybe you know, but Jim K. mentioned a ref. in NJ pension application, by a black guy, who described Frazer's 71st making gaiter trousers out of their old plaids in 79(?), hence Don T's and others recent artworks showing them in tartan overalls???????

Since some of these date after the Howe book you mentioned, what are the sources on those?

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Re: Pig bristles

#42 Post by roy_najecki » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:30 am

Al,

The philibeg citation is from John Peeble's 42nd Foot, which was in Philadelphia. His book is a wealth of info on day-to-day military life (horse races, golfing, going to the beach, etc..). I don't have any handy reference to determine which units were still in NYC.

“The Guards to Mount in future in Trowzers, round hatts & Great Coats Slung on their Backs. The Captains of Companies to take their Mens Winter Caps & Leggins from them.” - Halifax, 7 May 1777 [77.2]

“Each man to provid with Two pr of Woolen Socks which can be made from Old Stockings....” “...for linnen Trowzers which he Deliver to Each Compy tomorrow ...The men to be properly fittd. with a pr of each and their names Wrote on them, to be ready to Isued out on the Shortest notice.” - New York, 9 May 1777 [77.5]

“the Non Commisned officers of Each Compy ...to Receive thier Trowsers and Hatts agreable to the Returns given in -- these Hatts to be Cut Round, Lased and Cocked as Swon as Posable.” - New York, 12 May 1777 [77.5]

“The Regt will parade to morrow morning...in linnen Trowzers which are to be returnd Again.” - New York, 14 May 1777 [77.5]

"the New Trowsers are not to be Wore till Orders is given for that Purpose." - 17 May 1777 [76.7]

"As soon as Any Compy. Have got their Trowsers Made Thay Are to Send their Taylors to assist the other Compys. till the Whole are Compleated." - 20 May 1777 [76.7]

The trousers are mentioned in the 40th Orderly Book and visually shown as what we know as gaitered trousers (aka overalls) in Della Gatta's paintings of 1777 Germantown and Paoli which shows the 40th Foot in action.

Also, Jim Kochan told me that there is an American description of a British soldier whom escaped an American prison. The Brit was described as wearing overalls, whereas a few months earlier his unit was issued trousers. So what the British called trousers, the Americans called gaitered trousers or overalls. The Americans seemed to make a distinction betweeen the terms trousers and overalls, but the British did not. This is consistent with the terms Cartridge Box and Cartridge Pouch. To the British these were two very different items, but the Americans used the terms interchangeably.

Sources:
[73.1] General Orders: New York / Boston 1773 - 1775
[76.1] Diary of Captain William Bamford, 40th Foot, 8 Jan - 31 Dec 1776 from Jim Kochan
[76.4] Orderly Book: Foot Guards, 14 Aug 1776 - 28 Jan 1777 from Skip Riddle
[76.5] Orderly Book: Lt. Col. Charles Mawhood, 17th Foot; 11 Oct - 28 Dec 1776 from Skip Riddle
[76.7] Orderly Book: Brigade of Guards, 1st Battalion (aka Howe’s Orderly Book), 12 March 1776 onwards from Linnea Bass
[76.12] Orderly Books, Scots Guards. from Linnea Bass
[76.14] John Peebles’ American War, 42nd Foot, 2nd Battalion of Grenadiers, 1776-1782 (in print)
[77.2] Orderly Book: Loyal Nova Scotia Reg’t, April - May 1777 from Todd Braisted
[77.5] Orderly Book: 40th Regiment, 20 April - 28 Aug 1777 from Jim Kochan & John Rees
[81.1] Orderly Book: 43rd Foot, 23 May - 22 October 1781 from Skip Riddle

Al, if you want the entire document please email me privately, as I don't have your email address.

Roy

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Re: Pig bristles

#43 Post by das » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:56 am

Roy,

Thanks a lot for all that. I e-mailed you privately yesterday off this link re the 71st. Didn't you get it?

All this trouser business is way off-topic for the Forum, but while I had you here, I just thought I'd ask Image

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Re: Pig bristles

#44 Post by roy_najecki » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:22 pm

Al,

I didn't get the email. Please try again. Roy@Najecki.com

Ashworth

Re: Pig bristles

#45 Post by Ashworth » Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:01 am

To Group,
I am in need of about one hundred boar bristles to be used in a demonstration of 18th century leather tech.If any has some to spare or are placing an order soon please contact me off list at Poiseyourfirelock@yahoo.com.
Thanks
Alan Ashworth

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Re: Pig bristles

#46 Post by amuckart » Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:52 pm

Al, do you know if the sources for boar bristles you list above from your post on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 are still any good?

I've contacted them through what look like their email addresses but not had any response as yet. I'd like to get some to work with when I'm at events.

Thanks.

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Re: Pig bristles

#47 Post by das » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:45 am

Alisdair,

The two current bristle suppliers we have are:

Pavan Sood-- indianoverseas@gmail.com
Indian Overseas Trading Co
"Deep Shikha"
87/294A, 294-295
Achanya Nagar, Kampur 208-003
India

and:

Mr. Chhedila Khatik
ChhediLaL Khatik
Bristles Exporter
Shartipur
H. No. 423, Jabalpuer (M.P.)
India
FAX 0091-761-2625571

Be sure to specify the longest 7"-8", thickest, bristles they have, or they will come in too thin and whispy.

Good luck!

Al

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Re: Pig bristles

#48 Post by amuckart » Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:06 pm

Many thanks Al. I'll get in touch and see how I get on. I still need to figure out whether NZ customs will allow me to import them.

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Re: Pig bristles

#49 Post by amuckart » Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:12 pm

Sorry, one more question so I can work out quantities. How many bristles per pound (I'm assuming they're sold by weight) and how long will a pound of bristles last you? (I figure I can take that figure and multiply it by ten or twenty) Image

Thanks.

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Re: Pig bristles

#50 Post by dw » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:41 pm

Alasdair,

I bought a kilo (2.2 lb.) some years back. I can't tell you how many bristles are in a pound--it's like guessing how many gumdrops in a candy jar....but I would venture that the count is well over 5,000. Maybe even closer to 10,000. Probably a lifetime supply for the most prolific of us, in any event.

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