A question I get asked a lot about making a whip is whether you should use plaiting soap or if you can use leather dressing like Pecards for plaiting. To put is simply you can use either for plaiting, however each will have its own advantages and disadvantages.
When using leather dressing for plaiting it’s best for leather that isn’t drum stuffed. Drum stuffed leather has oils worked into it at the tannery and is already nice and full of all the good stuff that’s in leather dressing. So if you use it for plaiting you will probably end up with a really greasy whip.
Leather dressing is also more expensive than plaiting soap, so there’s a little bit of an extra cost.
Leather dressing is great to put on layers of a whip that may be dry like a bolster that’s cut from cowhide that isn’t drum stuffed.
Plaiting soap is great for using on all types of leather, however if you are braiding leather that isn’t drum stuffed remember that it doesn’t contribute as much oils to the leather as a leather dressing would. It’s primarily a lubricant to make plaiting tightly easier.
Plaiting soap is very cheap a giant pot of it will cost you a few bucks.
What Do I Use?
When making whips I personally use a combination of the two. If the leather hasn’t been drum stuffed I give it a hit of leather dressing and let that soak in. Once the dressing has soaked in I use plaiting soap for the actual braiding.
Hope that helps!