Turning Deer Hides Into Buckskin

s; all leather from deer hides is called buckskin.

Since deer were readily available in the forests of what became the eastern United States, Native Americans and the early settlers of that region used buckskins for clothing, including for moccasins as footwear. Hide My WP Once processed properly, deer hides result in soft and supple leather that is comfortable to wear. Buckskin clothing continues to be popular in the United States especially for jackets, gloves and moccasins. Specialty shops all over the country continue to sell a wide array of buckskin clothing including pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, and blouses. Traditional styles feature buckskin fringe.

Native Americans taught the early settlers the long process of converting a deer hide into buckskin. First the hide was removed from the deer in one piece; this is known as skinning. The hide was then scraped by hand using a scraper designed for this purpose. Scraping removed all fur and other matter from both sides of the hide. The scraped hide was then processed multiple times in a mixture of oil and soap; this process is called dressing the hide. The oil reacts chemically with the deer hide, making it soft and pliable. It was again stretched taut and dried. Finally the processed deer hide was smoked over a specially designed fire which gave it its characteristic honey color. After this long and complicated process, the deer hide was ready to be sewn into clothing.

As with other ancient techniques, there are some people who continue to prepare buckskin by hand for their own use or as a cottage industry. Commercially available buckskin clothing is made in a factory from deer hides that most likely originated at a deer farm.

Alan B. Stables is a freelance writer on alternative agriculture, has organized alternative agriculture events and has also been a guest speaker in Brazil, China, Egypt, Italy, Latvia and Spain, on how to market agricultural produce for maximum returns.

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