Prototype Turk-esque Horseman Bow Bag and Quiver Combination
Project Completed January, 2014
As a foreward, this project was completely and totally a wile hair on my part. I can see some successes and some failures in both the mentality and the implementation, but it was a wonderful experiment for me. I left my comfort zone and pushed myself a little more than I wanted to with my hand stitching.
At the end of the premise is simple – make a bag that holds both the bow and the arrows, but hangs off of a single hip strap. I wanted to keep the overall design of the quiver that I found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online collection, but flat face it so that it was stitched directly on to the bow bag.
I started off with a piece of upholstery/designer leather that I’d gotten on sale. I loved the texture of the pattern, not to mention the color, so I figured it was a good place to start. For the outside border, I wanted to use a straight up veg tan to try and increase the durability, but also to offset the green color. As such, I cut the design from both sides of leather, then trimmed down the veg tanned’s inside so that it was just a border. I also cut secondary accent pieces from the veg tanned side for use in the top and bottom of the quiver pieces.
Once the pieces were all cut, I hand stitched the border down to the bow bag upholstery pieces, then stitched down the top and bottom of the quiver pieces. To hold the arrows flat and in line, I also created a series of loops on the front facing bag piece to hold each of the individual arrows. I then put a series of “spots” in place to break up the green a little more. Once all the pieces were attached flat, I antiqued the veg pieces, then saddle stitched them around the outside to hold it all together. It was then just a matter of strapping it up. I did end up attaching a small pouch as well, just to make sure that I could carry around a bow stringer and wax – better safe than sorry!
Now for the lessons learned… First and foremost, this rig is on the heavy side when it’s loaded. It also tends to swing around quite a bit when hung from the belt. I tried putting it on a belt that slings over the shoulder, and that did relieve some of the weight but it did not relieve the sway. When carrying the bag, you ultimately have to hold the arm of the bow to keep it pointing where you want it to go. When the bow is out of the bag, it’s a little cumbersome to draw arrows as well, since the bottom half is pretty low. Overall, the format was pretty good for hauling back and forth to the range, but not very good to use once you were actually at the range itself. The increased weight load popped the stitches on the strap rig eventually, so it’ll be a matter of going back to the drawing board.
The good thing is that I know now why both parts were kept separate. Even on a horse back, it would have been more efficient and ergonomic to have the pieces separate.