We do a few things, explained below, that few others take the time to do. Some increase the time of making an item, which is why most people don't do them. However, they greatly increase the comfort, quality, or authenticity. In a nutshell, we strive for museum quality for those that want to live history - instead of doing just enough to "get in the gate".
We Get Personal
Our buckskin clothing is made according to your measurements, so they can only be made after receiving an order. [Top of Page]
We Research The Real Thing
We research original buckskin clothing in museums or private collections, or share information with other reputable researchers or museum curators. Most of our buckskin clothing and accessories were patterned using design elements from original pieces - noted in our product indexes by a little museum image [ ] by their names. [Top of Page]
The Real Thing At A Savings
For authenticity we prefer to make our buckskin clothing and accessories with modern Indian-tanned hides. We call them "modern" because, to save a great deal of time and expense, the fleshing, stretching, and other tough and time-consuming work is done mechanically. Then they are tanned and smoked, and can be worked and decorated using traditional methods like any other Indian tanned hides. [Top of Page]
We Strrrretch For A Better Fit
Indian tanned hides are stretched during the tanning process. The may stretch slightly, as all leather will, after wearing a while. Commercial tanned hides are not stretched during tanned, and will stretch far out of shape and size after wearing only a couple times. Hence the "bag and sag" we see in the butts and knees on many buckskin clothes today.
We realize not everyone can afford the real thing, especially those just starting their frontier RE-creation life. So we also offer many items in commercial tanned buckskin. If you order buckskin clothing made of commercial tanned hides, we pre-stretch the buckskin before making those items to help minimize their stretching when worn. It takes about 1 hour to pre-stretch each hide, but it produces a fit more like Indian tanned buckskin. [Top of Page]
Authentic Sewing (And Patching)
We do NOT machine sew or lace buckskin clothing or accessories. There were no sewing machines on the frontier, and except for a small section on one rare item, we have neither seen nor heard of any original clothing laced together.
Our products are totally handcrafted. Like on the originals, we use either small, authentic stitches or thonging (see article, "Sewing Original Buckskin Clothing"). Authentic sewing takes much more time than machine sewing or lacing, but it also increases the quality and authenticity of buckskin clothing and accessories.
Tanneries get their hides from hunters, who put holes in the animals. We try to bypass holes when cutting out clothing, because it takes time to properly mend them. If we can't bypass a hole that will fall in the main body or private area of a garment we mend it with the smaller, authentic stitches. [Top of Page]
It's A Material World
Native people traded their tanned buckskin for much less than it cost the colonials to produce their own buckskin. Therefore, buckskin used on the frontier, as well as much of it used in the settlements, was produced by some method of Indian tanning.
All Indian tanning methods remove the ALL membrane from BOTH sides of a hide. Therefore, there is NO smooth side like on commercial tanned hides. So "smooth-side-out" is NOT authentic for frontier buckskin clothing or accessories. Be Careful of anyone that doesn't even know that little bit about frontier clothing, but still claims they make authentic clothing. If you order clothing of commercial tanned hides we put the suede side out - unless you specifically tell us otherwise. [Top of Page]
Function versus Fashion
Even if frontier people had a fort or settlement nearby they rarely had money for frivolous things like ready-made clothing. Nor were they concerned with the vanity of the London-Paris-New York fashion circuit. They learned to do for themselves, and used what they had available.
Tanneries get hides from hunters, who are well-known for putting holes in the animals. Other hols may be added by whoever skinned the critter. We try to bypass holes when cutting out pieces, because they take extra time to properly mend. If we can't bypass a hole in a structural or potentially embarrassing area of a garment we mend it with the smaller, authentic stitches. [Top of Page]
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