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Leather Children's literature writing research going on here....

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by redwingsgirl514, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. redwingsgirl514


    Jul 8, 2018
    If I can get this work published, I don't want anyone's mom or dad looking at some line I wrote and saying "it's obvious you have no idea as to what you're talking about". I don't care if this is fantasy - I want it correct.

    But I have a fantasy warrior. There's obviously weapons involved. My problem is my only experience with a blade would be the kitchen knife variety. Can anyone either correct my layman's perspective or point me in the right direction?

    Fantasy works tend to be strongly based off of the historical way of doing things. From around the forums I've seen leather sheaths are a debated item now, but once upon a time that was what folks had to use. One thread made reference to oiling the blade to prevent rust. Leather attracts moisture (from what I've read), but protects the blade if there is moisture outside (also from what I've read....though this all seems a little contradictory).

    Is there something specific my character would need to do to make sure the leather sheath wouldn't damage the sword or dagger?
  2. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    I assume your character will be using carbon steel blades or something similar to be period correct. I further assume he will be carrying or wearing these blades on a daily basis with relatively frequent insertions and extractions of the blade/s. If this is the case there is little cause to worry about the sheath causing the blade to rust. Also if he is carrying these blades daily and they are for his protection or in some cases for aggression, then he would certainly inspect them frequently and maintain them accordingly.

    Now a leather sheath will not attract moisture any more than any other material, but once wet it does take more time and care too dry thoroughly, and it is during this time that if a carbon steel blade is left unattended for several hours in a leather sheath, light surface rust could start to appear and get worse as time extends. This could also be the case in a wet sheath of other materials, it might just dry quicker.

    Your plot must be highly detailed and filled with minutiae to include this. It kind of reminds me of a solution looking for a problem.

    Good luck!

    redwingsgirl514 likes this.
  3. hexenjager

    hexenjager Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2016
    Hello, @redwingsgirl514. Welcome to the forum.

    I'm hardly an expert, but I've read that the leather of at least some medieval sword scabbards would have been treated with available methods to help repel moisture. Bee's wax is still used today and would certainly have been available in those times. Keep in mind that my info would only be as good as my source and my memory, either of which could be highly questionable. :D

    I'd also suggest posting this question in the sword discussion subforum as well as here. Some of the regulars there would probably be able to provide some context for the more historical aspects of sword and sheath construction and maintenance, or, for that matter, for other medieval weapons and tools that you may want to include if you're going for accuracy. Keep in mind that answers may be a bit slow in coming since it's a pretty quiet subforum.

    Good luck with your book! :thumbsup:
  4. jux t

    jux t

    Jan 10, 2018
    Leather seems like a logical design for the sheath. My question would be he description of the blade shape and length.
  5. redwingsgirl514


    Jul 8, 2018
    Sheathmaker, it's not as though I'm putting all the detail in. ;) But I have my rough draft completed, and now it's time to plug in details. This is me making sure my details, whatever they turn out to be, are correct.

    hexenjager, I would seek out the sword subforum if I ever decide to do a nonfiction kids book, but ya'll have given me plenty to use here! ^_^

    jux t, from my laymen's perspective I had thought leather, but I wanted to run it by the experts here.

    Thank you all for your input. It helps a LOT, and I feel better about plugging in my details now.

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