Authentically Handcrafted Buckskin Clothing & Wampum Weaving
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How We Do Wampum Weaving


eagle feather Here By Request
For years we've done wampum weaving for educational displays and gifts for friends. Over the last decade and a half interest has really grown in eastern woodlands cultures of Native Americans and Euro-Americans.  Many people have asked us to make personal items and wampum peace ("treaty") belt replicas for them.  So we have added wampum weaving to our site.

eagle feather Research For Authenticity
As we do for our buckskin clothing, we research original wampum items in museums, private collections, and reputable journals for accurate designs and materials, as well as exact bead counts.

eagle feather The Right Wampum Beads For The Job
The wampum beads we use are nearly exact replicas of the predominant size and colors of porcelain wampum traded to Native Americans by the Dutch and British since the 1500's (see our article series, "The Story of Wampum"). We can, of course, make items with real shell wampum beads, but, for most people, those beads are far too expensive at an average cost of $3.50 per bead!).    [Top of Page]

eagle feather Traditional Methods
We use the very early, more traditional double-thread method of weaving. Like most original items we've studied, our wampum weaving is woven on warp strands of twisted plant fibers. Plant fibers are actually stronger than the buckskin most people are weaving on nowadays.

Some plant fibers - notably dog bane, milkweed, and flax - have a higher tensile (pulling) strength than buckskin of a smaller diameter. Linen (flax) is the strongest natural fiber known. We want our products to be both authentically made and serve our clients a long time. Therefore, we use heavy, waxed, twisted linen for the warp threads on our personal items. Beads are woven onto the linen foundation with artificial sinew.    [Top of Page]

eagle feather We Finish The Job
The ends of warp threads on some original personal items we have seen are unfinished, leaving many loose ends to tie. Others used buckskin end caps and added thongs for tying. We choose to finish our ends with the cap method. It takes longer to finish the item, but it's much easier for our clients to fasten than having to work with all those loose ends. Many of us already have too many loose ends to worry with :)!    [Top of Page]

eagle feather Our Design Or Yours
Much of our wampum weaving is actually custom work, which simply means we use your design. It does NOT necessarily mean it's more expensive, so if you prefer your design to ours don't be afraid to ask us to create it for you.    [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.