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Distributed for University of Alaska Press

Secrets of Eskimo Skin Sewing

Still the definitive guide, Secrets of Eskimo Skin Sewing is packed with clear, easy-to-understand instructions, drawings, and photographs to lead readers of any skill level through the process of turning natural or man-made furs and hides into handsome, useful garments. Author Edna Wilder, one of the world’s best-known practitioners and modernizers of traditional Eskimo skin sewing techniques, takes would-be skin sewers through the step-by-step work involved in constructing traditional items of clothing such as mukluks, parkas, and mittens. She also includes sewing instructions for belts, baby booties, a trapper-style fur cap, and toys.
Though natural fur and hides were the only ones known in traditional Eskimo lifeways, the book’s guidance is completely adaptable to modern, synthetic leathers and artificial furs. Similarly, the guidance offered in these pages on traditional Native beadwork and basket making works just as well for plastic beads and basketry materials unknown to the Alaska wilderness.

132 pages | black and white and color photos, illustrations | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1976

Art: Art--General Studies

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Table of Contents


Part One: How To Do It
Before You Begin

Preparing Hides and Skins

Tanning Hides

Patterns and Beadwork

Cutting and Sewing the Fur
Part Two: Things To Make

Baby Booties

Fur Mittens



Trapper’s Fur Cap


Eskimo Toys and Personal Things

Grass Baskets and Rugs



About the Author

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