The bag

The bags of the old bohas observed are all made of whole skin, either goat or sheep.

The first step in making a bag is to tan the skin. There are several tanning methods including salt tanning or brain tanning.

below is an example of a recipe found in the catalog of the 1980 exhibition organized by the Grande Lande eco-museum in 1980: "LA CORNEMUSE LANDAISE HIER ... AUJOURD'HUI"



The second stage is the realization of the assembly on the skin of the stumps for the pihet and the windbreaker. It is also necessary to close the natural openings like the holes of the legs.


The degree of waterproofness of the leather depends on the quality of the hide and the quality of the tanning. It is therefore essential to treat the inside of the pocket with a sealing "potion".

Gascon sealant recipe
(Source Patrice Bianco.)

Disclaimer: This recipe was recreated and used during revival in the 1970s by those who rediscovered these bagpipes. It may not be suitable for some instruments because each manufacturer uses different materials. Inform yourself before using it to avoid damaging the pouch. Proceed in a ventilated room and taking essential precautions as for any handling of chemicals.


-Hot glue of bone or skin for use by cabinet makers,
- Fluid honey,
- Glycerine,
- Acide salicylique.


Dilute a tablespoon of glue in 30 ml of water for 10 minutes in a bain-marie.

Mix the glue with 30 ml of glycerin and 60 ml of honey, adding a small pinch of salicylic acid.

Application :

Remove the vent holder and seal its stump tightly with a plug, from the inside if possible. Then remove the pihet and keep the stump open. Protect the outside of your pocket by wrapping it in a plastic bag attached to the stump of the pole with a wide elastic. Protect as much as possible the interior of the stumps (windbreaker and pihet) to prevent a residue of glue from getting lodged there.

Pour 1.5 to 2cl of product into the pocket through the stump and carefully rub the bag with the mixture, paying particular attention to the seams and ligatures. Repeat until you have treated the entire surface without excess.

Please note that it is easier to add more product than to remove it. Don't drown your leather, it will take months to dry. Remove the protective bag and the caps, then hang the pouch, strain down to allow any excess to drain.

Clean the inside of the stumps. Slightly inflate the pouch to prevent the sides from touching. Close it with corks and let dry 24 hours at least.

Here is a recipe given as an example of what could have been used by pipers of the 19th century.