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creating horsehair products
braiding techniques
about "hitched" products
history of horsehair fiber
product care
guaranteed for life
- always genuine horsehair in hand braided designs-

creating horsehair products

a tradition reborn with style

with the founding of colorado horsehair, the hand work and tradition of horsehair was renewed and improved. each belt begins as a fine horsetail, then the hair is removed without harming or discomforting the animal. indeed, harvesting the horse hair is beneficial.

the hair, gathered into a "hank," as it is called at this point, is then cleaned and sorted. the raw hair, some of which is colored with natural pigments, is then separated and twisted by weavers into "hair-pulls." it is then braided or hitched to create our products. it is this combination of natural fiber and hand braiding that gives a colorado horsehair product the subtle variations of texture and color.

braiding techniques

braided horsehair

horsehair strands are braided into groups of eight to form "square braids." the color and combination of the braids are used to form the basic design and pattern for the belts. lastly, the square braids are hand-stitched together completing the desired pattern in the hair blank, a process that requires hours of work. at this point, the belt is formed by cutting the hair blank to size, skiving, gluing and sewing the hair blank into a hand-trimmed leather end and buckle.

about "hitched" products

hitched horsehair

"hitching" with horsehair involves making stitches similar to half-hitch knots in a concentric arrangement on a wooden or wire dowel. this technique is the method for making the exciting geometric designs

the larger tubes are flattened, hand tooled leather billets are added, and a distinctive colorado horsehair "hitched" belt is created.

smaller tubes created from a wire dowel, produce a solid cylindrical shape found in our keychains,hatbands,and bracelets.

history of horsehair fiber products

for centuries, master craftsmen in cultures throughout the world have woven fine horsehair into pieces of art. from the traditional korean wedding garb, to the peasant wear of bronze age celtics, to the "devil's violin" used since the middle ages in the kaszenby region on the baltic sea, horsehair has stood the test of time for its natural beauty and ability to withstand the elements. this tradition was brought to the raw plains of america with the waves of early immigrants who marveled as they settled into the majestic mountains of colorado.

while the common use of horsehair has dwindled and has almost been forgotten over time, it is rumored that its survival may be attributed to the work of prisoners who had the time to whittle away at the intricate art of braiding horsehair into belts, horse tack and other products.

product care

leather billets can be treated with saddle soap or a neutral colored shoe polish.

for silver trim, it is best to use one of the many available silver cleaners; silver polishing cloths are very convenient and prevent liquid polish from getting on the braids or leather trims.

the horsehair can be cleaned with a damp cloth and some hand soap.

horsehair tends to have a "strong memory" unless it is moistened. misshapen braids can be straightened by dampening the horsehair with a wet cloth and allowed to dry. once dry it will retain its new shape. the hair should not be soaked-- particularly not the "strong" colors such as turquoise, red and blue since the vegetable dyes can run and stain adjacent braids.

loose hairs sticking out of a braid can be clipped off carefully using nail clippers without affecting the integrity of the braid in question.

guaranteed for life

all of our fine belts are made with an age old standard of craftsmanship that we believe is unparalleled in the industry. we unconditionally stand behind our work for your lifetime. if you feel it does not stand up to your quality or style standards, we will repair or replace it at your discretion. return to top

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