Deerskin Lacing for Native American Crafts
Deerskin lacing is great for Native American craft-making. You can use it for stringing and tying jewelry (chokers, bracelets and more), garment lacing, making fringe, braiding a headband, or wrapping a metal ring to make a dream catcher. These are just a few examples of uses for soft deerskin leather lace. Here at The Wandering Bull, we cut our own Top Grain Deerskin into deerskin lacing in 6 foot lengths either 1/4″ wide or 1/8″ wide. Using Top Grain Deerskin gives the lacing a smooth side and a suede side. It is available in the following colors:
Colors shades will vary. You can order as few or as many as you would like for your projects.
You can also purchase a Deerskin hide of your choice from the Wandering Bull (see links below), and a Leather Lace Maker and make your own continuous lace in 1/4″ or 1/8″ wide. Start with a quality piece of leather with a smooth side and a suede side this is called Top Grain leather. “Splits” which are sueded on both sides, do not work well for making lace because they are too thin and fuzzy.
Using a Leather Lace Maker
- First, cut an approx. 1-1/2″ diameter hole in the center of your piece of leather (if you fold your piece of leather into quarters, it will be easy to cut your circle out of the center by cutting a quarter circle at the fold).
- Select the slot that corresponds with the lace thickness you want. The top slot is used to make 1/4″ width lace. If you have a 4″ x 4″ piece of deerskin, you should be able to make one continuous 6 ft piece of leather lace (give or take).
- Press the cutter against the leather at the circle and push forward until a small bit of lace appears beyond the back of the cutter.
- Grab the end of the small lace projection and pull carefully, allowing the leather the rotate. Continue until the leather lace is the desired length or you reach the outer edge of your piece of leather. See video below on how to use a leather lace maker.
It will take some practice to get the knack of using the Lace Maker Tool, but once you get it, your Deerskin hides and scraps will become yards of Deerskin Lace!