Sunday, 8 April 2007

Final Stage of Sinew Making

The promised post to finish up the sinew processing. The pic below shows the dried elk backstrap sinew. Elk is very much larger than deer to work with but it also produces some very long strands. Moose would be much the same way.

Here I am giving the sinew a twist, bending it every which way possible. You basically just keep on doing that until it becomes loosened up. Deer take but a few minutes but this elk tore up my hands pretty well. It's really strong stuff.

Here I splitting the sinew in half lengthwise. This will make it easier to torque around. Just keep working it until it wants to come off as threads. You can see the perpendicular cross fibers of the fascia that was left on it.

The final pic shows individual fibers that have been stripped out. Across them is a piece of nylon thread so you can get an idea of how large the threads are. I generally leave the sinew intact and only split off threads as I need them. Wet them to prestretch them before you use them. Sinew doesn't take a square knot very well so one must use a figure 8 to begin to sew with them, or some other knot that doesn't come out.

One last thing, when splitting anything including sinew the side that recieves more of the tension will end up thicker, so to keep a split uniform you try to keep the tension uniform bi-laterally. If you start to see the split make one side thinner then add more tension to that side. Make sense?

I'm going to be making some buckskin leggings next so check back in soon to watch them take shape!!