What was made of horn in the Middle Ages?
Throughout the Middle Ages, horn was one of the most popular raw materials. Numerous things could be made from the horn of a buffalo and, unlike ceramics, it was stable and robust. It was practically the plastic of the Middle Ages and no household was without it.
Horn becomes malleable after a few days by soaking in plain water. In boiling water it is already so malleable that a knot can even be formed from a strip. This means that many things can be made from the raw material, which is why it was so popular in the Middle Ages.
Horn bowls, horn spoons, combs made of horn, buttons, even the handles of cutlery were made from it. The list of things that were made from the simple buffalo horn is very long.
The properties of horn speak for themselves and it is still the better plastic today.
How can I shape horn?
Horn is one of the most natural materials there is. It needs no more than cold or hot water to be malleable. And it is a very good and similar substitute to plastic. It can be completely and safely degraded by nature. So why not simply shape a horn into a cup or bowl yourself?
It can be shaped simply by heating it. To do this, the piece of horn is placed in hot water, for example, and then behaves similarly to plastic. It is very easy to bend and can be shaped into bowls, cups, spoons and much more. After cooling, the horn retains its shape and can then be used for its intended purpose.
It should be avoided to wash hornware in the dishwasher or with hot water, as this can practically deform it again.