Kangaroo leather is made from the hide of a kangaroo. It is a comparatively lightweight leather but is very strong and durable. Because it is lightweight, it is often braided. Braiding enhances the strength of the leather and adds decoration to leather jackets, purses, belts, hats and gloves. Braiding leather is not difficult and simply requires some consistency, concentration and leather lace. Leather lace is leather cut into long strips for braiding. You can purchase pre-cut kangaroo leather lace at some craft stores or through online retailers.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Kangaroo leather lace
- Saddle soap
- White glue
Cut three identical lengths from your pieces of kangaroo lace. Use approximately 1 foot of lace, depending on your needs. Depending on the width of the kangaroo lace, the braid will only be 1/4 to 1 inch shorter than the unbraided strands. The wider the lace, the more length it will lose in the braiding process.
Rub each kangaroo leather lace with saddle soap. This will make it easier to stretch the leather without breaking it.
Place the three strands side by side and tie a knot at the end to secure them together. Rub a drop of white glue over the knot to keep it from pulling apart.
Tighten a vice over the knot after the glue has dried. This will keep the kangaroo lace secure while you braid. It will also make it possible to gently stretch the kangaroo leather as you braid.
Label the strands 1, 2 and 3 from left to right. Bring 1 over 2. Then, bring 3 over 1. Pull the kangaroo leather tight after each pass to maintain a consistent braid. Apply more saddle soap if the leather does not stretch or if it dries out. Also, to make a more even and uniform braid, do not twist the lace as you braid it and keep the top of the lace up during each pass.
Bring 2 over 3. Then bring 1 over 2. Continue down the entire length of kangaroo leather lace. Hold your thumb over the bottom of the braid to keep it in place as you gather the kangaroo lace to make the next few passes. Use the same force and pressure for each pass to maintain a consistent braid.
Tug each lace to tighten the entire braid and to make it look more consistent. The braid will be uneven and lopsided if you have stretched one piece of kangaroo leather more tightly than another. If this happens, you can unbraid the leather, reapply saddle soap and begin again.
Tie a knot at the end of the leather braid when you are satisfied with it. Remove it from the vice and trim the excess leather from either end. Rub a drop of white glue over the knot and let it dry completely before using it.
Tips and warnings
- Because kangaroo leather is expensive, practice this technique first on yarn or suede first.
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