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Mid America Buckskinners Info Page

Moccasin Making Tips

Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas

No, it's not skinning bucks............ Developed and maintained by JP Finn

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I've not been doing any leatherwork for a while. The orders are building up. I need several things, the Wife wants a couple, and I have to make new moccasins for the grandkid. He can grow out of a pair in a month. If kids feet are like puppy dogs; an indication of the final size of the critter, he is going to be huge.
I usually construct a copy of the moccasins worn by the Lower Creek Indians, in the 1790 - 1800 time period. This was during the split into the Creek and Seminole styles, and due to the intermingling of the two groups, the Creek influence was still quite strong. My personna is a North Florida / South Georgia deerhide trader and ner-do-well, relocated to the junction of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers. I go with the theory that what was learned early would be continued wherever one went. There are referances to indentifing tribe affiliation by type of clothes, weapons and footware, so I believe that it is a viable theory.
If you are interested in learning to construct a pair of moccasins, but didn't know where to start, I have a few tips:
I have found that using the directions and patterns in the "Craft Manual of North American Indian Footwear" by George M. White, and the fitting directions in "The Book of Buckskinning III", a decent pair of moccacins can be made. Begin by making a pattern out of kraft paper or paper grocery sacks. There are a lot of measurements that can help get the size close, and paper is easy to write on. After the paper pattern is made, make a cloth moccasin. A lot of people use felt for the trial and then use them as a liner. That isn't a bad idea, but I use pellan for the trial. Pellan (a brand name) is interfacing, picked up at your fabric store. It stretches and acts like leather, while felt, as a woven material doesn't. Make all the adjustments, trimming and shifting, until you have the moccasin just right. I usually work on it inside out, on the wrong foot, until it is right and then trim the excess seam edges. Turn it right side out and put it on the correct foot to check the fit. Keep working on the trial moc until it is perfect. Disassemble the trial moc and use it as the pattern to cut out the leather for the real moccasin. Use chalk or charcoal to mark the leather. I use charcoal. Ink pens leave a mark that can not be removed.


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If you want to plaver, do so. Hey, jp!