DISCOVER DAMASCUS Over two thousand years ago, Damascus steel was forged in the Near East from ingots of wootz steel imported from India and Persia. They discovered that combining various metals would create weapons of increased strength over those made of pure steel. The original method of producing wootz was lost in the 1700s. The identification of composites in original Damascus steel remains unknown today, as no records exist describing them. Attempts to duplicate wootz have not been entirely successful due to differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques. The ancient tradition and significance of Damascus steel, however, have never been forgotten, resulting in the booming industry that exists today. Aside from being beautiful, Damascus steel is valued because it maintains a keen edge, yet is hard and flexible. Since 1973, Damascus steel-making follows the practice of combining pure metals, varying in terms of personal preference and need. The modern method of producing Damascus steel is called pattern-welding. A variety of steel types are welded together to form billets which routinely contain strips of iron to provide the necessary firmness on a molecular level. This molecular structure ensures the Damascus blade will cut easily and remain durable. Forge welding multiple layers produces the watery effect characteristic of Damascus steel, although many other patterns are possible. This indicates Damascus steel blades are produced not in assembly-line fashion but on the basis of individual customization.
ATTENTION Real Damascus is intrinsic to the steel itself but fake Damascus is only a facade. Some people might try to pass off regular stainless steel with no layering by printing a design on the blade. These are pretty easy to spot because they either don’t look like Damascus or the pattern could just rub off. Check the pattern on the blade. It will be different on each side and visible on the spine. Plus, the pattern will be different than any other knife – no two are alike.
STEEL Some of the steel is bright, some has shades of gray and some is black. The brightness is caused by a certain amount of chrome or nickel content in the steel, the black by carbon. Bladesmiths have their own preferred steel combination. In addition to contrast, the bladesmith will create a pattern based on the number of layers in the bar and what type of manipulation is done to the steel during forging. Faneema Cutlery blades are created by forge welding multiple layers of 4340 & 1095 high carbon tool steels. The combination of layered hard and soft steel creates blade flexibility, toughness and produces invisible serrations on the blade that aid cutting. The hardness of our Damascus blades is 54-56 HRC on the rockwell scale. BILLET The heated billet is drawn out flat by the power hammer. In earlier days, the billets were hammered by hand. The process of drawing-out means lengthening the bar to a size that you can then fold in half to repeat the process of welding and drawing. By doing this, the number of layers are built up in the bar. This process will continue - drawing out, folding, and forge-welding - until the desired number of layers is achieved. Faneema Cutlery blades are generally 150 to 200 layers so the beautiful pattern is visible. The number of layers can go much higher, but the pattern gets tighter and tighter reducing the visible pattern.
ANNEALING When the bar is finished it needs to be cooled very, very slowly. This leaves the steel suitable to drill, grind, file or cut. ETCHING The final phase is the etching of the steel to expose the pattern. The scale is removed and any pitting or other surface imperfections ground away. When acid is added to the blade, it attacks the layers of hard and soft steels differently, highlighting the attractive layered pattern in the blade. Some Damascus knife makers will grind out the pattern on the spine and/or and handle. Faneema Cutlery only grinds the top of the handle so the pattern is always visible on the spine.
ATTENTION Some people may think that any Damascus steel made through the pattern-welded method and etching is not real Damascus. Those people are simply wrong. Both authentic wootz steel and real pattern-welded Damascus steel blades undergo acid etching treatment after polishing to make the Damascus folds and patterns more visible. If you have a Damascus blade that was made with pattern-welded steel and some acid etching, then you do indeed have a real Damascus blade. ABOUT FANEEMA CUTLERY Faneema Cutlery sells an assortment of high-quality knives, including daggers, hunting, pocket, skinners, razors and culinary. Established in 2016 and currently headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, we are a family business with a long history of knife making. It is truly a family affair with both our sons working in the business with us. Our signature offering is the hand-forged, exquisitely patterned Damascus knife. The excitement of creating a knife with high quality, unique design, and superior style is what inspires and motivates us at Faneema Cutlery. PROPER CARE TIPS Damascus steel has a higher content of carbon which gives it a long-lasting edge. However, the carbon makes it susceptible to rust when it is subjected to moisture.
Do not store knives in the leather sheath/leather roll for long periods of time.
After use, wash in warm soapy water and dry immediately.
Use cooking oil to coat the blade before storing.
Please do not put Damascus knives in the dishwasher. If rust appears, we suggest rubbing WD-40 on the blade or a very fine steel wool, then oil the blade. To store the knife, cover the blade with WD-40 and keep in tight fitting plastic and rubber bands to keep the WD-40 on the blade. This will protect your knife from rust until you are ready to use it again. For culinary knives, any kitchen oil can be used daily after washing and drying. Damascus knives take a little more care, but their sharp, long-lasting edge, great feel and beauty will last you many years to come. Damascus is beauty, form and function – works of art that are indispensable tools in our lives.