1) Half a ‘butt’, that is half the hide of an animal minus the belly and shoulders.
1577 Chro. Thornaby for a bend of forfeited leather 20d, Beverley
1592 a peece of bend lether, South Cave
1622 Item, in barke and toyles and 8 bendes of lether, Cottingley
1672 sayth hee had five bends of leather taken out of his pittes, Skipton. In 1731, the Dodworth tanner John Hobson noted in his journal: Francis Burdet’s inventory comes to Ł1,500 … he had 600 hides
his bend leather hides are valued at Ł1 6s a pece and his upper leather hides at 12s 6d apece . The term bend-leather was common: 1575 certen bend lether, Birstwith
1635 forestalling and regrating fower hundered backs of bend-leather, Thirsk.
2) A piece of material used to secure an item of clothing or as decoration.
It can be compared with ‘band’ but references in the OED show that it has a much longer history. In 1545, Ellen Smith of Pool in Wharfedale left to her daughter a kirchif, a bende and her best beades. In wills and inventories it was often linked later with ‘patlets’, e.g. 1619 to my goddaughter … a patlet, two coyffes and a bend, Huddersfield..