One of the traditional Saami duodji crafts is leathermaking. I thought I would give it a try. I started with something simple by purchasing a Sami bracelet kit from a Sami supplier in Sweden TNKReativt.
The bracelet kit includes a piece of reindeer leather, tin thread, artificial sinew, clear nylon thread, sewing thread, a sewing needle, a leather needle and a reindeer antler button.
Weave the Braid
The kit includes enough tin thread to make a six strand braid.
Cut the tin thread into 3 equal lengths and fold these in half to create 6 strands.
I use a foam felting mat to work on.
Pin the folded end of the tin thread onto the foam mat.
Separate the 6 strands into 3 strands of 2 threads each.
Work a 3 strand braid along the length of the thread.
I pin the braid onto the foam about every inch or so, to hold it in place as I am braiding.
When you have finished braiding, secure the ends by tying a short piece of sinew around the ends. The sinew that is supplied is a short length, but this can be separated into several strands. Use a small strand to tie the tin braid.
Hand Stitch Braid to Leather Strip
To adjust the bracelet to the correct size, measure around your wrist. Add 1 cm to this measurement. Cut the length of reindeer leather to this size.
On the back side of the leather strip, measure and mark a cutting line 1.5 cm from the end of both ends.
Fold the leather strip in half and carefully cut a small slit into the leather, the width of the woven tin braiding.
Place the woven braid on the right side of the leather strip and slip the ends of the braid into the slits that you have cut.
Using the regular sewing needle that came with the kit and the nylon thread, stitch the braid onto the leather strip.
(The instructions that came with the kit, suggest using glue to attach the braid to the leather, but I do not recommend this) Hand stitching will make a better bracelet.
Attach Braided Loop to Leather Bracelet
The bracelet kit includes a short piece of leather strip and some imitation sinew. Split the sinew into a narrower thread and twist the sinew around the leather strip. The sinew will give the leather a bit of extra strength in the loop.
Thread the leather strip and sinew through the loop at the end of the tin braid. Then twist the leather strip and sinew together tightly and ply them together to make a spun thread. Tie the ends with the remaining sinew.
Thread the leather sewing needle with the end of the sinew and stitch the 2 ends of the leather braid together forming a loop. Sew this securely.
Trim the cut ends of the tin braid to 1 cm. Sew these end together with a bit of sinew.
Using the leather needle, thread it with the polyester thread that came with the kit.
At the back of the bracelet, fold the ends of the leather together and neatly stitch them together.
Sew the reindeeer antler button to the other end of the bracelet.
Sami Reindeer Leather Bracelet Kits
Sami Bracelet Kits can now be purchased at Paivatar Yarns
Saami Beaivi Loom Weaving Workshops
Beginner Saami Pickup Band Weaving Learn the basics of how to weave pickup using a Beaivi double hole rigid heddle loom.
Warp a Beaivi Loom Workshop Learn how to warp a Beaivi loom and how to weave pickup patterns.
Saami Reindeer Leather Purse
Look for my handmade Saami reindeer leather pouches and bags in my PaivatarYarn shop on Etsy.
ITUNES – Saami Music
Binna Banna – Kikki Aikio
Áphi (Wide As Oceans) – Sofia Jannok
Ulda – Ulla Pirttijärvi & Ulda
The Kautokeino Rebellion (Music from the Movie) – Herman Rundberg, Mari Boine & Svein Schultz
Beaivi, Áhcázan (The Sun, My Father) – Nils-Aslak Valkeapää
Band Loom Weaving Books
Tape Loom Weaving… Simplified
Handwoven Tape: Understanding and Weaving Early American and Contemporary Tape
Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving
The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves
Band. Vävda Band, Brickband, Flätade Band Och Pinnband Av Ull, Lin Och Bomull / Weaving Bands: Woven Bands / Table Bands / Plaited Bands / Insertion Bands
Väva I Bandgrind
AMAZON – Saami Books
The Sámi People: Traditions in Transitions
The Sami Peoples of the North: A Social and Cultural History
Lapps and Labyrinths: Saami Prehistory, Colonization, and Cultural Resilience
Badin and the Secret of the Saami
Saami and the White Wolf
Talk Now! Learn Saami (Northern) (2015)
>Saami Inspired Bracelet Basics: How to make a Saami inspired pewter thread bracelet.