I thought I might make a leather sporran. I have most of a side of brown "Blacksmith leather" that I bought some years ago. It is supple and not too thick, but has plenty of "body," and I thought this might make a good material. I also have some heavy buckskin that would serve about as well.
I found a really nice pattern online, courtesy of the Northwest Territory Alliance Patternmaster: Rob Roy Sporran circa 1750-1780
The construction looks pretty straightforward, based on this excellent drawing. However, I do have a couple of questions for those of you who might know.
First, it appears that the tops of the leather tassels are wrapped or "seized" with something. Would this have been yarn? Leather thong? Linen thread?
Second, the front flap, as shown on the drawing, appears to have a simple "X" of thongs where a button might be, but there is no visible fastener. What am I missing here? Is the "X" just decorative? How is a sporran flap typically fastened, or is it left unsecured?
Thanks in advance!
The leather sporrans I have seen have been heavily tooled on the flap with celtic knots and such. The two I have owned were both fur faced. None had any fastener for the flap. (I assumed because of the Scotsmans desire for things flapping in the breeze.)
Thanks for your comments, Shoshone. It is interesting to me that the flaps were unsecured... and maybe your assumption is correct! It might have something to do with the Scotsman's love for untethered freedom.
The sporran in the drawing linked above appears to be plain leather. It is dated to 1750-1780, and I have read that these earlier examples were typically fairly plain, without the fur, tooling, or long, horsehair tassels. I did find a photo of a mid-18th century sporran which was similar in some ways to this one, although the one in the photo was pretty well beaten up. I believe it had leather "Turk's head" knots on the tops of the leather tassels, as opposed to a plain wrapping. If I can figure out how to tie a Turk's head knot, I might do that.
Most extant sporrans of the period did have a thong attached to the front, looping up to a button of some kind to secure the flap. The wee tassels were wrapped with fine twine, or thin leather cording. For the most part, early sporrans were made with a heavy leather (7~8 oz)for the back, whilst the gusset, and front were much lighter (2~4 oz). Pulling the wee tassels closes the pouch of the sporran, whilst the flap covers the opening. This example being regimental, it may well have not had a flap closure, but just a decorative knot on the flap. The Celtic knot work on sporrans is from a much more recent period than this one.
I made one years ago with the pattern in"So Your gonna Wear The Kilt"Amazing how much it could hold.May have to dig it out again.
I made one using the pattern found at this web address:
It was pretty easy to make and even with making the pattern, cutting out all the pieces and hand sewing it all it still only took a few hours to put together. I'd really recommend it as another option for you to look into.
That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.
|Powered by Social Strata|