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Babiche/rawhide seats.

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Peetster, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Peetster

    Peetster New Member

    I want to use rawhide for the seat frames of my canoe, but I can’t find resources. Does anybody know a good place to get the rawhide? And a good place to learn the knots, pattern and such?
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  3. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan


    As Benson linked to my thread last year maybe I should chip in my 2cents.
    I actually ended up buying rawhide twice.
    The local native crafts place indeed had rawhide lacing but once soaked it was far too wide to get through the drilled holes in the origonal seat frame. After 2 hours spent trying to split the lace into usable widths, i went with Plan B.
    3/16 wide lacing ordered from Faber Snowshoes out of Quebec.

    Once I had the right stuff, soaked it 24 hours, it was easy peasy, if not a little goopy. The soaked rawhide it pliable like spaghetti. Get the pattern right and the rawhide laying flat in your pattern. And don't worry about it being too tight while wet- it shrinks a lot and will tighten up impressively.
    And when dry, varnish it to prevent it from soaking up water again.
    r youtube.
    As noted in the linked threads, there are some really fancy patterns and Mike Elliott details them in "This Old Canoe" but there is also lots online and youtube.

    Nothing fancy but I Langford seat hanger bolts.jpg was pleased with the results- utilizing the original seat frames -cracks and all-and original pattern.


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