The folk sheepskin vest is made of the softest, most supple skin. There are a few Romanian skinners (furriers) left, who know the secrets of making these traditional classy waistcoats. As we met Constantin Juravle, a famous skinner, we couldn’t help ourselves from asking a few tips and secrets.
Any information coming from a haute couture artisan is highly valuable. Luckily, he was kind enough to share some secrets with us.
It takes three days to make a sheepskin vest. He can restore an old one in two days, overlaying it with new leather. If the embroidery is in a good condition, he’ll leave it as it is.
- The old embroidered leather in bad condition can be cleaned up with benzine or diluent. The deteriorated astrakhan strips replacement is also necessary. He buys old-fashioned astrakhan coats from the peasant markets and repurposes them into craft supplies.
- The entire process of creating a waistcoat is done by hand. The embroidery design is hand sewn by women, on a vegetable tanned leather.
- To make the shearling coats, he uses chrome tanned pelts (wet blue), with soft and shiny wool.
- The traditional waistcoats and overcoats are made from iron salts tanned sheepskin leather (wet white).
- Walnut leaves can keep your woolen wardrobe moth-free and help preserve the astrakhan in good condition.