Right now I’m working on a pair of 4 foot 8 plait kangaroo bullwhips.
The picture above is of the plaited bellies of both bullwhips. I’m getting the bellies braided soo tight and the core soo dense that you can hold them by the handle sideways and they will stick straight out!
The more you think about what happens to a bullwhip as it get broken in and used, you will see how important it is to get a tightly braided whip. Kangaroo is a stretchty leather and a whipmaker tries to get as much stretch out of the whip before plaiting it.
All the lace prep and braiding will take a most of the stretch out of the kangaroo lace by the time the whip is finished. But over time and use the whip’s strands will stretch. So if you start with a bullwhip that loosely briaded the stretch overtime will make the whip limp and lifeless. But a whip that’s very tightly braided at the beginning after it’s broken in will still be firm and lively.
It’s also this stretching action that will make a “matched pair” of bullwhips unmatched with time. Since no two pieces of kangaroo (or cowhide) are exactly the same they will break in differently. One strand could stretch (break in) differently than the one cut right next to it and when you are dealing with a pair of whips from two different hides you will definately have two different whips. also if i you always use the same whip for your right and left hand, then you will throw the whips differently and they will break in differently.
In my opinion a pair of bullwhips should simply be made off the same pattern so the weight is about the same in the whip.