Blue bacon gloves

Blue bacon
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

It’s a good thing I had some reservations about this. I didn’t expect them to dry so quickly though. This morning they were brittle. It was to be expected, but I didn’t know…just didn’t anticipate it.

“Wiki” offers these helpful lines, although, I don’t know how these gloves were treated. Still, I get it. “Vegetable-tanned leather is not stable in water; it tends to discolor, and if left to soak and then dry it will shrink and become less supple and harder. In hot water, it will shrink drastically and partly gelatinize, becoming rigid and eventually brittle. Boiled leather is an example of this, where the leather has been hardened by being immersed in hot water, or in boiled wax or similar substances. “

I did get that gelatin sensation after dipping them many times over, even though the vat wasn’t hot (it was warm though). I’ve been massaging one with olive oil and while it may help…it may not be sufficient. I might be able to rescue them for another different project…I’m not sure where things will go from here. The shibori worked though.


6 Responses to “Blue bacon gloves”

  1. shiborigirl Says:


  2. velma Says:

    when i dye vellum (goat or calf), i was taught to staple the dyed hide to a plastic wrapped board. on very think vellum i dipped it and hung it to dry (this was stiff like boot leather). i don’t know anything much about leather, though.

    • Susan Says:

      Well…I’m learning! If I did it again, I might think about stuffing them with something to give them form in hopes of their not shrinking like they have. I might also reduce the # of dips…Glennis has also given me something to think about…kakishibu. I wonder how that would work?

  3. Kathy Hattori Says:

    I once did a bunch of indigo dipping for a leather manufacturer and they always had to remill the leather after dipping. For such a small item you might gently “massage” it and see if it softens up. He also used carnauba (sp?) wax once it started softening to restore suppleness. I’m assuming with indigo you had a fairly cool vat so the leather probably didn’t cook (although I’ve done that indavertently too). They’re very strange and beautiful!

    • Susan Says:

      This is very helpful. I think I might try that wax. I used a little olive oil and it helped just a little. I’m afraid to do too much massaging as they seem to be a bit on the brittle side, but I’ll keep working with them. I’d like to “rescue” them if at all possible. Thank you!

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