Museum Researched, Authentically Handcrafted Buckskin Clothing - Since 1979

Buckskin Shirts
-- Early Northern Plains --

G.A. Reneker
P.O. Box 473
Dillsburg, PA 17019

Contacting Us

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Have you read our info articles about original frontier buckskin clothing and how we make ours?

If ordering buckskin clothing or rifle cases also send appropriate section(s) of our Measurements Form.

Please see Notes below about how early western plains buckskin
shirts were made, so you know what you're getting.

Early Northern Plains Buckskin Shirt

Principle Native American Nations:
Teton Lakota (Sioux), Assiniboin, Hidatsa, Mandan, Blackfeet, Absaroka (Crow).

Rectangular neck flaps front and back.  Panels of about 6" long (15 cm) even length fringe added to shoulder seams.  About groin level in length.   Thonged on sides, but only to hip sides to allow movement when working, running, etc.

Note:  Sample buckskin colors may vary slightly depending on your browser.  But then, colors vary slightly anyway between batches of buckskin during the smoking or dyeing processes.
Indian Tanned Hides
Hide Color Size Product
Price Shpg


Normal smoking

Up to 44" Chest
(111-125 cm)
CL013-K1L $ 572.00 5.5  
45" to 50" Chest
(127 cm)
CL013-K2L $ 599.00 6.3  

Notes About Early Native American Western Plains Shirts:  Typical style features of early (up to mid-1800's) shirts of the plains Native Americans were very similar in all three American plains regions (north, central, and south).  Those of the Canadian plains were similar to the American northern plains.  The main differences were they styles of neck flaps, and whether or not shoulder fringe was added.

The basic shape of hides was followed with little trimming.  Sides of front and back panels were cut into about 1 1/2" (3.5 cm) short fringe.  Hides used for sleeves are untrimmed and un-fringed under the arms.  Shoulder seams and the lower end of sleeves toward the wrist up the sleeves about 4" are sewn with small stitches.  Sleeves themselves are much shorter than Euro-American style shirts, only coming down about 3/4 of the way between elbow and wrist.

Front and back panels are thonged together under the arm pits and down the sides to the waist.   Sides are left open from the hips down for free movement when working, riding, etc.  "Society" shirts were made the same way, except they were not fastened down the sides.   A few were longer, but the vast majority of western shirts came to about the groin level in total length.  That's the length we make ours.  Neck flaps are attached with the larger size stitching originally used for rifle cases and neck flaps.

The predominant color of buckskin used by most Native Americans was "smoke", with two notable exceptions.  1. The Blackfeet often smoked their buckskin more heavily than others.  2. Buckskin for ceremonial clothing was often treated by the Crow after a light smoking to produce a nearly white hide.

The front and back panels of shirts (and dresses), including the neck flaps, should always be decorated the same, since you are the same person whether you are coming or going.

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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.