It is the the Great and Mighty WOOTZ!
It has come to reconquer its former-
What was that? You don’t know what wootz is?
Fair enough. Most people - and I am loosely including knifemakers in the group “people” - haven’t the foggiest what wootz truly is. Even rarer is the person who knows what makes wootz tick; and the rarest of all are those who MAKE wootz. I have become part of this small group and my hope is to become the best…or at least one of the best.
We will have to wait and see on that one.
So, that's great that I can make wootz, but what exactly IS it. Wootz is unlike practically any steel in use today, in some cases being closer in composition to cast iron than it is to most cutlery and tool steels. While your average kitchen knife might have a carbon content of 0.7-0.9% by weight, wootz historically fell into the 1.1-1.7% carbon by weight. The official starting point for cast iron is at 2.2%, so I think that you can see what I mean. The most obvious characteristic that sets it apart from other steels is the “watered” pattern, which appears on the surface and is inherent to the material. Less obvious are its particular properties of hardness, flexibility and edge retention, all of which stem from wootz’s unique composition. I will talk more about the technical aspects of wootz in the historical section of the website.