Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Design This – Native American Hair Tides

This design project got its start when a prospective customer saw something in another one of my “Design This” blog posts that she liked. She sent me a screen shot with the item that she hoped to be able to purchase. I had recently sold that exact pair of Native American style feather and leather hair clips but had a similar pair that was not currently listed anywhere, so I sent off a picture of them. She liked them and was interested in some earrings in a similar style and wondered, “Also, do you make Native American hair tides, they are also called hair leather straps?”. The earrings were the easy part of this custom request but I would have to do some research into these “hair tides” to see if they were something I felt confident creating.

I was having some difficulty locating examples, so my customer found a couple of links for me. After seeing the product that I was being asked about, I discovered that they could also be found by searching for Native American leather hair ties or wraps. This gave me an idea of the product that my customer was after. These hair accessories are meant to wrap around your hair braids and the solid leather part at the top is tied securely around the braids with the leather fringe hanging below. I asked for some specifics as to the preferred length of the solid and fringed portions as well as color preferences and then I was off to search for supplies and to investigate fringing methods.

I found a nice red suede piece of leather that looked like it would make what my customer had asked for. After researching fringing, I decided to use a multibladed tool to fringe the lower portion of the hair tides. I practiced on some scrap leather to get a feel for the tool. I had to be careful how I pulled the leather or the fringes would not come out right. After a bit of practice, it was time to create my customer’s custom hair tides. After fringing the pieces, I attached laces to each one for securing the hair wraps to her braids.

Since my hair is not long enough to braid, I needed a way to model the product for my client. I used the tail of my stuffed white tiger to simulate a hair braid. I have doubled up this image so that you can get a feel for what these Native American style leather hair wraps would look like when in use.

Feel free to contact me if you find something on my blog, in my Facebook photo albums or EDCCollective's sold listings that you like. If I don’t have the item but can recreate it or something similar, I’d love to make a custom piece for you.

Item availability update: I have begun listing my Native American Inspired Hair Wraps in my EDCCollective Etsy shop section Feathers, Leather n Wood as of 2/14/12. These wraps can be worn in a variety of ways. One example can be seen in this photo sent by one of my customers.


  1. what an inventive idea, using the tiger's tail!

  2. never seen anything like these before.....very striking!