Monday, 30 May 2011

Greasing Moccasins.

When we lived up in the old cottage it was easy to grease my moccasins on a regular basis. I would leave my moccasins on the hearth of the big open fire to dry. Once dry I would make myself comfortable on the three legged stool I made, warm the mixture of tallow & beeswax in front of the fire, & rub the mix into warm leather. Afterwards the moccasins would be left on the hearth so the grease could soak into the leather better.
Now that we live in Linstock House, this chore is not so easy. I have to place my moccasins under the wood burning stove to dry & warm, & I have to place the grease in the open oven to melt. The hardest part is not getting the grease all over the slate kitchen tiles! Not a comfortable chore anymore, but I get the job done.

"Their Shoes,when they wear any are made of an entire piece of Buck-Skin; except when they sow a piece to the bottom, to thicken the Soal. They are fasten'd on with running Strings , the Skin being drawn together like a Purse on top of the Foot,and tyed round the Ankle. The Indian name of this kind of Shoe is Moccasin"
Chapter One: Of The Indians & Their Dress.

The History and Present State of Virginia,in Four Parts:
By Robert Beverly, 1705


Daniel Tallarek said...

Hi Le Loup! Thank you for this fantastic blog. I want to become a woodrunner her in Norway, where the nature is still rough. To start I will make myself a pair of buckskin moccasins, but know I wonder how often I have to grease them. Do I need to grease them whenever I have dried them by the fire? What is the ratio you use in your grease? 50% tallow & 50% beeswax?

Le Loup said...

Hi Daniel. Much depends on the weather, I grease them more often in wet weather. Yes I would say you are right, every time you dry them out (slowly, low heat!), give them a greasing.
The ratio is up to you really, but 50/50 is good. The more beeswax the longer it lasts.