Reindeer as a Material


The hides are collected when slaughtering starts. The hides are modified on the basis of the usage. Traditional fur shoes, säpikäs shoes and koivikas gloves are made from the leg fur of a reindeer. Peski for work and festive occasions is also made from the fur. The calves’ fur is good for making warm hats.

Cutting and modifying the leg fur and hides is a very careful procedure and craftsmen have their own ways of doing it.

Most of the reindeer hides end up from slaughter houses to bigger manufacturers who make commercial hides and different types of leather. There are a few companies specialized in this work in Finland.

Reindeer has grown to be an interesting and wanted material also abroad. Reindeer leather is a unique product shaped by the Arctic nature. It is one of a kind.

Untreated Leather

Fresh, cleaned hide that has been dried or nivotettu, means that the hide has been soaked in water or under snow. After that, the fur comes off easily.

Drying means that the hide is nailed on to a wall to dry and it is left to dry for a year or two. Untreated leather can be used as a drum cover.

Treated Leather i.e. Sisna

Sisna leather is reindeer leather that has been treated with the bark from birch tree, willow, aspen or alder. Sisna that has been treated by hand is a traditional handicraft material. Sisna can be used in multiple ways. Traditionally, different kinds of bags and clothes have been made of it. It is a long-lasting and high-quality material that lasts from generation to generation.

Bone and Antlers

Reindeer bones and antlers are a good and durable material for many products. Reindeer changes its antlers every year, so the antler bone is an ecological material that renews. Over 100 000 kilos of antlers are collected in Finland annually.

Traditionally spoons, buttons, sheath and others have been made from the antlers. Bone handicrafts are often decorated with carvings or with a pen that burns the designs to the bone.

Nowadays, design jewellery is also produced from the antlers. It can also be combined to different materials such as wood or metal. Also, reindeer nails are used for different kind of jewellery. It shines beautifully after it is polished several times.