Water stains onleather when I wrap the core...
Hey folks,

Long time lurker, and haven't posted much, but I need some advice when wrapping scabbards in leather. I recently made my first wooden core for an old Windlass European Sword. It turned out OK. Now the problem arises when I wet my leather, to wrap around the core. I've done a few swords before (this is my 3rd, so not many) and have had varied success.

I use masking tape, with the adhesive side up, so as not to touch the leather. I used tape because it's flat, and I can wrap it pretty tight without any wrinkles. It actually works well. The problem is where the masking tape isn't...where the leather is still exposed (like a small gap). The water seems to darken the leather here.

Should I use something other than the masking tape? Or is there something else wrong? I find it odd that where the leather is exposed to air, that is where the stains happen...

Wood core and re-leathered hilt:


I've used tape to wrap a wooden core while it was setting to shape or the glue cured. But when it got to the stage of wetting the leather, I was briskly sitching up the seam onto the scabbard core.

I've never glued a leather cover on a core, so if that's what you're doing, I don't have any suggestion. Except, maybe it needs to be done dry. I would think anything you wrap the leather with is going to leave an impression.
So I should sew it while it's still wet...and disregard using the tape then...that makes more sense.
M. Lanteigne wrote:
So I should sew it while it's still wet...and disregard using the tape then...that makes more sense.

Yes, exactly this. I case the leather, wrap it around the core and then just stitch whilst wet.

What you seem to be getting there is burn on the leather. Veg tan leather 'tans' or burns when exposed to natural light. I would guess that is why you are getting dark lines on the parts that the tape doesn't cover. Nothing to do with water staining.

You could, of course, keep it somewhere dark until you are ready to take the tape off, but I don't really see the point of the tape.
Well that also makes a lot of sense. I had no idea it reacted to light like that, at least when it's wet. Thanks guys. Hopefully this is salvageable since I am out of leather. In fact, the leather I used was from a previously mis-measured scabbard project lol.

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