After I posted (original post here) about the kangaroo that Tandy LeatherFactory had recently started selling I got this email from Graham Packer Leather in Australia:
When we looked at the Tandy advert – we noticed that they had described the leather as “Finished Kangaroo Leather”.. This wording is important as I understand that the leather was from an Italian producer. This producer offers a Glazed Aniline leather – this leaner is produced with a veg retan process and then is lightly finished with Pigment. The leather is made for really footwear.
You say that you will soak the leather in grease to soften it.
In reality – it will never feel like the Drum Stuffed whip leather that you normally use.
Your comment are correct as to its origin and possible processing.
If you don’t know Packer makes what is in my opinion the best drum stuffed kangaroo you can get for whip making!
I agree with Graham’s assessment of the leather that Tandy is selling, it’s really unsuitable for whip making or braiding in general!
The other day shortly after I found out that Tandy Leather Factory has discontinued their kangaroo I got a call from the manager at my local Tandy offering to make a deal with me. I went out and checked out what he had and he made me a deal I couldn’t turn down, so I came home with some kangaroo:
I had to get a lot of this (buy out his stock) to get a sweet deal. I’ve got more than I need right now so if any one is interested in some kangaroo I can offer it to you at a pretty good deal at $15.50 per square foot with the average skin over 6 feet. If you are interested feel free to contact me and let me know what you color you and I’ll let you know what sizes I have.
My current project is working on a pair of 6 foot 8 plait bullwhips. They should get finished up today, and I’ll post some pics later today or tomorrow.
This morning I took a peek at the pricing of kangaroo on Tandy Leather Factory’s website (http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/search/searchresults/9156-446.aspx) and it’s remained unchanged with a retail price at $19.99. That is a good thing, however I did notice that they are now “Closeout – Limited to stock on hand. First come, first served. No Backorders.” That means that once they are out they are out and that is one less place to get kangaroo.
Keep in mind that Tandy’s kangaroo $19.99 is more expensive than other sources and not as nice, the advantage for them (over mail order) is that you can go in and buy it in person where other sources unless you live near them you need to do it over mail order.
Having less competition in the kangaroo skin market could lead to higher kangaroo prices in the USA. However having less places to buy the craft kangaroo will lead to forcing more whip makers (mostly amateur) starting to use a higher quality kangaroo which is a good thing.
I was running out of leather for bolsters, so yesterday I stopped by my local Tandy Leather Factory. I was looking at their 2-3 oz which is $5.35 a square foot. Then I noticed that they had 3-4 oz on sale for $49.99 a side! Normally I run my bolsters through a splitter to knock off any high spots, so getting a slightly heavier leather isn’t really adding much more work.
My local Tandy had just gotten a batch of these in, so I got to dig through a lot of them! The skins I bought were on the thinner side of the 3-4 oz weight and they were huge! Both of them were just over 35 feet (the average skin they had were 25ish square feet)! One was a nice clear skin, the other has some holes on the belly, however they were in an area I normally cut of so they are no big deal.
The nice thing about getting these two sides was that I was already in the area of the Tandy and picked them up, so there was no shipping or extra gas spend on them. They were a total of just under 70 cents a square foot! If you need some bolster leather now’s the time to check out your local Tandy Leather Factory!
I almost feel like I need to make a long whip so that I can take advantage of using the longer skin to make a bullwhip with a longer bolster with no splices!
I was also finally out of plaiting soap, so I cooked up a batch:
A couple of nights ago I started working on a riding crop. For this one I decided to use an exotic leather for riding crop’s hand grip. The hand grip on this riding crop is sharkskin and the core is rawhide with a cane center.
The overlay on it is 12 plait kangaroo.
There are a couple of patterns on it, but for the most part it’s a 4 seam plait.
Here’s the almost finished riding crop:
I still need to roll and shellac this riding crop.
Recently in the mail I got a flyer from Tandy Leather Factory in the mail with their February sale items. One thing that caught my eye was that they had Ostrich Leg Skins on sale.
If you’ve read this blog for a while you’ve probably noticed that I love making whips with handles from unique leathers. In the past I’ve made bullwhips with handles made from:
and Sting Ray Skin
That got me thinking that making one from ostrich leg skin would be a fun project. The description on Tandy’s website says the average size is about 5 x 22 inches. That would give me enough leather for at least two handles, but more more likes in the ballpark of 4 handles!
Unfortunately I’ve got a few more things I want to do before I get around to making an ostrich handle bullwhip.
This morning I’m going out to run some errands, the main one is to get some more Kip and the cowhide I use for my Budget Bullwhips. I might stop by and chat with David Morgan for a little bit (If he’s around the shop) since I’ll be in his area.
I have no shows for the next week (but I do have a ton of “office” type work), so I’m hopefully going to be cranking out some bullwhips over the next week.