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Native Bark Tanning Techniques: page 1

Native Bark Tanning

Matt Richards
© 2000



Most people who are interested in doing some bark tanning like the idea of making a soft grain-on leather that would be good for water resistant boots and clothing. 

Along with this often goes an assumption that this was done in ancient Europe. So far, the only evidence I've found of soft bark tanned leathers is amongst the native peoples of the north. The Saami in northern Europe, the Chukchee in NE Russia, the Eskimo and Inuit along the northern tier of North America all made relatively soft 'bark tanned' leathers. Whether these peoples were doing this type of tanning aboriginally or whether they learned it from more modern cultures seems to be open to debate.

Native bark tanned seal skin boots from Newfoundland. 
This style with crimped toes are very typical of artic footwear. They are only $295 direct from the Borealis Crafts website.


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