Authentically Handcrafted Buckskin Clothing & Wampum Weaving
General Information
  Who We Are
  Contacting Us
  Printable Mail Order Forms
  Main Site Index
  How We Make Our 'Skins
  How We Make Our Wampum
  Exchange Links With Us

Choose A Product Index
  Buckskin Bags
  Men's Buckskin Clothing
  Women's Buckskin Clothing
  Buckskin Rifle Cases

Traditional Wampum
  Wampum Arm Bands
  Wampum Bracelets
  Wampum Chokers
  Wampum Let Ties
  Wampum Treaty & Story Belts

Other Important Information
  Frequently Asked Questions
  About Us & Our Business
  What Our Clients Say
  About Original Buckskin Clothing
  About Original Wampum
  Ordering & Shipping Info

Other Valued Sites & Resources
  Colonial & Fur Trade Groups
  Government Related
  Museum & Historical Sites
  Native American Resources

Other Needs
  Outdoors & Athletics
  Health & Fitness

How We Make Buckskin Clothing & Accessories
- Or -
(What Makes Us Different?)

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".

eagle feather 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]

eagle feather 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 [ Museum researched buckskin clothing ] by their names.     [Top of Page]

eagle feather 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]

eagle feather 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]

eagle feather 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]

eagle feather 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]

eagle feather 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]

Copyright Jan 1999, 2015, Gary A. Reneker. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, programming, and coding are protected by U.S. and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission from Gary A. Reneker.