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Leather School’s current Student Leather Worker, Sam from Sands School in Ashburton, has been continuing his history-based leather project on our educational support programme for local school students. Since our last post about his project, Sam has been trying out the process of cuir bouilli, a French term for hardening veg tanned leather by immersing it in boiling water. It was often used for armour, popular in the middle ages and was still being used in World War 1.

Sam visited Bakers Tannery in East Devon (www.jfjbaker.co.uk/), which is where we buy our Oak Bark Tanned leather. Sam bought some bellies, which have good thickness and are cheaper to experiment with, and experimented with how long to put the leather into the boiling water for.

Sam can be seen on the right of the picture, getting some tuition from Will who works at Tanner Bates.

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