Cutting Kangaroo Skins for Braided Work
We supply both kangaroo skins and lace. The skins we sell, and the skins we use for our lace, are all the best quality vegetable tanned kangaroo. The strength of this leather is about four times that of the equivalent cowhide. The information provided below is intended as a basic guide for cutting kangaroo skins for braided work.
Kangaroo leather is one of the strongest leathers available. As with most natural materials, kangaroo hides vary, both from hide to hide, and within the hide itself. A basic understanding of the hide and how best to utilize it, will greatly enhance the quality of the final products.
Step 1. Remove flanks at back legs and front legs. Remove front legs.
The removed flanks and front legs are not strong enough, nor uniform enough for quality work. These scraps are basically waste, but can be used wherever small pieces of solid leather are needed.
Step 2. Trim the edge from the back leg around the skin, over the neck to the other back leg to eliminate sharp corners.
Step 3. Cut strands for less demanding four plait work. The first strand cut should be stretched to determine if enough flank has been removed. The strands should be started at a back leg, cut to the appropriate length. Sufficient strands are cut to clean off the back legs, and use up the more stretchy part of the neck.
Suitable uses for these strands include edge lacing, knots, and coarse bolo ties or lanyards.
Step 4. Trim the edge at the tail end, round off the back legs and cut lace around the skin. Cut wide lace first, then narrow lace if there is a choice. Remove any scars, cuts, or other flaws in the skin before reaching them, testing the strength with a small cutting of lace if it looks weak.
This is the prime section of the skin, giving firm, strong lace.
Yield of Lace from a Kangaroo Skin
The amount of lace, and the quality of the lace, cut from any skin will vary with the size and characteristics of the skin, and the skill of the cutter. As a general rule of thumb, for each 15 square decimeters of skin anticipate 50 feet of prime ⅛ inch continuous lace, 30 feet of good quality ⅛ inch continuous lace, and 20 feet of good ⅛ inch lace cut in shorter lengths during the initial trimming/shaping of the skin.
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Please follow the links below for more information concerning our kangaroo hides and braiding supplies.