Saturday, August 31, 2013

Normandie Farm Pouch by Eric Ewing

This bag was made for a farmer in Normandy, France to use in what they refer to as "broadcasting", basically to hold the seeds as they sow the fields they have plowed.While this isn't a shot pouch, or meant to accompany a firearm, I made it using the same techniques and materials I have been using, only increasing the size, which is about 13" wide x 12" tall.  The body and strap are made from vegetable tan cowhide with pigskin binding.  The inside is lined with a lightweight browned linen. The bag was dyed with different shades of red and brown until I had a finish I found pleasing.  On the back, there is a loop between strap attachments to hang a tool or knife etc, and on the straps themselves there are numerous large holes punched to enable the hanging of other tools and objects if desired.  For the designs (stitched on the bag and burned onto the buckle) I drew inspiration from sources including the Bayeaux Tapestry, and similar Norman inspired motifs wherever I could find them. Where the front of the bag was pierced, exposing the linen fabric underneath, the linen was waterproofed by melting and heating beeswax.  The entire bag was treated with neatsfoot oil which made the leather very soft and pliable.

Copy and photos supplied by Eric Ewing.


  1. must be a wealthy farmer. The broadcasting bags I have seen and used as a child where like aprons with a large pocket in the front for the seeds. My father planted large fields (40 acres, so not so large) using one of these and this method.

  2. If you have ever broad cast seeded a field you would find that this pouch would be in adequate in capacity. You would be walking back to the main seed container and in doing so you would loose track of the portion of field that you had planted. This may work for seeding a large radish patch.

  3. Hello,
    Thank you for your feedback. In the making of this pouch, I did research broadcast bags from the region, and found a few images like this painting by Jean Millet ( as well as a margin from the Bayeux Tapestry ( and found that, as you have said, throughout history broadcast bags seemed to be little more than a simple cloth sack to hold seeds. The end user of this bag was not interested in a rough sack but rather sought a decorative piece of wearable and usable folk art. They guided me as to the size they wanted. They operate a small organic farm in Normandy, France, and assured me it would suit their needs. It was given as a Father's Day gift to a husband from a wife, and I am proud to have them use it.
    thank you,
    Eric Ewing