View Full Version : Braided / woven leather lanyards

British Red
24-03-2007, 12:51
Does anyone know anyone who sells woven / braided leather knife lanyards? Its for a knife and needs to be fine enough to pass through a 6mm lanyard tube. Ideally to be finished in a small carved acorn bead / toggle. I'm looking for something really nicely made and am happy to pay "craftsman" rates :)

I think theres one on the shelf near the hens teeth :rolleyes:

Any advice of help would be gratefully received

TIA guys


24-03-2007, 13:38
Can't help you with that Red but do you know of a tutorial where I can learn the technique?

British Red
24-03-2007, 13:41
I have seen one somewhere....hence the question. I remember seeing some pictures that were cracking work. As someone who uses a lanyard I'd really like a quality one for my new knife :)


24-03-2007, 14:44
That sounds interesting, and I'll be watching for replies. What sort of length are you looking at Red, not that I'm able to offer, but it would be something I'm interested in learning about - and I know a couple of whip makers who I'm sure could offer me some alternative ideas or skills.

British Red
24-03-2007, 15:39
Arond 8" or so mate...a braid with a knife loop, then a wrist loop, another braid and a toggle. So handy to avoid putting your knife down and gives great control when choking up.

Helps in wathdrawing safely from a deep pouch sheath too!


24-03-2007, 15:46

It might be worth talking to Buckshot. I haven't seen anyone selling that sort of work here but I've seen Mark's work and he's a dab hand at it.

The tutorial you've seen may either be his or Schwert's on OMF.

24-03-2007, 19:32
Very nice of you to say so Stew thanks
The review I did was of my baldric strap (http://www.bushcraftuk.com/content/articles.php?action=show&showarticle=94) and a turks head knot
And tbh Iif I can do it OK it can't be that dificult...

BR - If you want some kangaroo leather PM me, I'll sort a length out for you



24-03-2007, 22:22
heres some thing u may be able to adapt:
http://www.attacc.com/acatalog/Attleborough_Accessories_Calls _Whistles.html

4th item from the bottom

hope this helps

25-03-2007, 19:17
The problem is that you really need the knife to braid the lanyard onto. Generally you start braiding in the middle, pass it through the lanyard hole then bring the ends together and braid it on - viz

The only other way would be to braid a small loop in one end and pass it through the hole then thread the end through it.

Do you have any idea how youd fix it


British Red
25-03-2007, 19:47

thats a good point - I was thinking as you said that I'd pass a narrow loop through the tube and pass that entire lanyard through the loop.

Thanks for the offer Mark. If I fail to find anyone talented, I might well take you up on it!

I saw Bushwacker Bob had done some nice braiding in the pub last night so I may flutter my eyelashes for a lesson:D


26-03-2007, 08:46
No worries, I would offer myself but I've got 10m of ventile material that I'm turning into a pair of trousers and a jacket or two, plus a load of leather that's just shouting to be made into some moccs - and a few other bits and bobs as well - all by the summer moot hopefully :confused:
I'd be alright if I didn't have two jobs aswell !!!!


British Red
26-03-2007, 08:53
No probs mate - I'll look forward to seeing the Ventile output - we are just finishing the pattern for mine :D

26-03-2007, 10:57
there is a tutorial in www.outdoors-magazine.com, can't get the link to the tutorial to work for some reason. written by Schwert, breaded leather knife lanyard, its in two parts. :)

bushwacker bob
26-03-2007, 11:47
I may have an intrim,(less than perfect)solution.I drop it in one evening this week.

British Red
26-03-2007, 12:03
Good man bb- no rush though - Stu hasn't finished the knife yet! :D


26-03-2007, 13:52

My brother in law does that kind of work as a hobby. He has made many beautiful works of leather and a very nice watch fob for me. If you could send me a sketch of what you would like I'm sure he can braid it for you.

British Red
26-03-2007, 14:30
That would be very kind weaver - I'll put crayon to colouring book :D

26-03-2007, 15:04
I am used to working with very thin and small thongs.
I cut them from pig skin, and my thongs usually end up a fraction thinner than 1/8th of an inch.

Get a full spec drawing and I will give you some options.
I think, though I would have to test it, but I can probably skive down and give you an 8 strand braid in 6mm, certain it would be easy enough for me to make strand round braids that thin.

I generally do not favour using wooden toggles, prefering to work with all leather parts, but if you have a toggle there, send me a pic and I can work on some variations.

26-03-2007, 15:27
Heres an example I just uploaded.
It was a necklace for a very close friend of mine, during a difficult time.
Designed to be a perfect fit and sealed fit.

The button knot is a gaucho. and the thongs, 1.5mm pig skin.

http://www.hugeuploads.net//images/734808Necklace%20for%20flea.jp g (http://www.hugeuploads.net/)

26-03-2007, 17:27
Hi, That is beautiful work.

British Red
26-03-2007, 18:29
Thats lovely work 8thsinner!

Very much the sort of thing I had in mind

I'll sketch some designs and bung them on here and perhaps weaver and you could let me know if they are "do-able"?

Thanks for all the advice!


26-03-2007, 21:07
A knife lanyard is really pretty easy to braid. I highly recommend David Morgan's book....anyone can do it with this book and some leather. I think even my article should get most folks off the ground.


is the link to the first part of my article. It is very difficult to braid a lanyard that can be doubled and passed through a knife tube. It is possible to terminate a lanyard in a twisted loop of leather that can pass through the tube but since this is where the lanyard wears the most this makes for a less durable lanyard in the end.

I almost always start braiding in 4 or 6-plait round in the middle of the strings to pass this through the knife tube. This makes a secure and long lasting lanyard.

Here is a neck cord that is adjustable in length for this Viking stone.


The stone is girth hitched with a twist braid to the cord so it can be removed to use as a knife sharpener.


26-03-2007, 21:08
Really nice work Nick and 8th.

Braid is easy....really it is.

Here are three pocket lanyards with clips. The long one has a flat belt loop, and is long enough to leave attached to your knife as you use it. The others are more utility strap types.


This Ingram pocket knife has a 3-plait flat braid running through the lanyard hole. If you have a knife with a large enough lanyard hole then a loop of 3-plait flat can be done that is possible to squeeze through the lanyard hole doubled for a girth hitch attachment. I never like to do this though as it is both bulky and less attractive.


British Red
26-03-2007, 21:28
Well - I'm learning a lot here ......thanks guys. The terms confuse me (is a girth hitch what I do with my belt?)

That lovely tan round lanyard is sort of what I had in mind but I can see where it would be really hard to pass it through the lanyard hole unless it was permanently attached - to date I have used either leather lace or the type made from emptied out 550 paracord (which will go through if you push with a brad)

Maybe I'll have to give it a go (I just wanted something really nice since the knife should be a work of art)....I'll have a ponder...I assumed there would be a way of attaching them by passing a loop through the tube but can see how that could be difficult now

Thanks for the input guys


26-03-2007, 22:32

I really think you can make one easily. If you can source some good thin but strong leather lace, then start with a 4-plait braid....which is about the easiest. Follow my tutorial but you can skip bringing those together if you like and just use the cover knot which will work fine.

You can add a toggle or bead to the end.

Braid looks very nice, most folks are impressed and think it must be very hard, but it really is not difficult.

Even a twist braid can work. Take one long leather string and twist it like you were going to make a natural cord. Fold it in the center of the twist and let the two sides twine around each other, giveing you a blunt end that naturally has a loop on the end. Thread this though the lanyard hole on the knife.... pass the body of the twist braid through that little loop (girth hitch), a knot in the end of the twist braid will hold it together. These are simple, cheap as chips (always looking for a way to use that phrase :D ) and look nice.

It is always much much more difficult to type how than see how...so get Morgan's book. Even one of Mear's books has some braiding diagrams that I seem to recall were done well.

Round plait is a good skill to have and being able to use it on your own items just makes those things more fun to use.

26-03-2007, 22:44
Nice work 8thsinner

British Red
26-03-2007, 22:48
I would certainly like to give it a try Schwert..perhaps on some other areas to start with though..this particular knife has to be "just so". There are three craftsmen working on it and I don't want to despoil it with my own fumble fingered efforts!

I have no idea where to source leather cord that thin over here though (other than imposing on Buckshot which I'm loathe to do)...anyone have a source?


27-03-2007, 00:02
The nice thing about an ugly lanyard is that I am quite sure you have another sharp knife with which you can whack it off :D

Post a picture of the knife when you get it and I will try and dream up some sort of lanyard for it that I can send you. I have never made a detachable one before so it will be a challenge to me too. And if it does not suit the knife, you can put it on something else....or just whack it in half :eek:

There are some old threads here that I participated in about braiding and if I remember correctly there were some UK sources for leather lace posted. If you can get kangaroo I would recommend it as it is very strong, easy to use and nice looking too.

27-03-2007, 01:30
I have never used it, but heres morgans site, he used to sell 1/32 leather lace too but a quick search revealed only 1/8th kangaroo natural tan skin, which is plenty strong enough for a lanyard,

http://www.davidmorgan.com/product_info.php?products_id=4 80

the difference between them is.
Kangaroo strong but not durable.
Bufallo durable but not as strong
Cow medium strength but can be durable
Pig skin can be strong but not as durable
The choice is all about compromise, if you go for kangaroo, I recommend an over braid or wear leather where it's through the lanyard hole.

Either way I will work up something myself if I can.

27-03-2007, 02:09
I had forgotten my one attempt at a removable lanyard....this one can be threaded through a large lanyard hole and girth hitched.


This is 3-plait flat braid for the loop, which is then seized at the juncture to 6-plait 4-seam braid, terminated with a crown and wall knot. The whole thing is about 7" long but the girth hitch which will reduce the lanyard to about 5". I covered the join with a black cowboy cover knot with its tails run down the braid to secure it in place.

27-03-2007, 09:08
Schwert is a master at this. :You_Rock_ he inspired me to take it up.
I found that it's cheaper to order leather from David Morgan in the states than buy here. I spoke to David himself when I ordered my first lot. Very nice bloke and helpfull.
A little tip though...
If you plan on ordering several rolls of pre cut leather lace get them shipped over seperatly. It's cheaper to pay for the extra postage than the duty charges !
IIRC it only took about a week for it to be delivered.

I only use roo leather for my briading and none of it is showing any signs of wearing thin or weakness. Discolouring and wear yes, but not wearing thin. So theres probably quite some use in them before you need to worry about replacements etc.
When I was in Oz last year I managed to find the Pearce Tandy shop in Sydney so stocked up on lace and roo skins as well as some exotic stuff. It was a fraction of the price in the UK. :D



27-03-2007, 20:56
Mark, yeah, David Morgan is a very good guy. His precut lace is from Packer Leather in OZ, his handcut....well is handcut by him.

The precut spools are perfect for most projects. I reserve his handcut for my more important projects.

I have had kangaroo lanyards on knives for at least a decade with no real signs of wear. The lace turns red over time and takes on a great look.

Morgan is the master braider. I have several of his pieces, from small bolo's to a 12' Bullwhip. He knows his leathergoods. Many years ago I went out to his shop which is just a few miles from my house. I bought his first book on whipmaking and then started asking a ton of questions. He took me into the back room and showed me how to braid 4-plait, gave me a bag of scrap strings, a roll of handcut kangaroo and told me to bring my project back. A couple of weeks later I walked into his shop, and from across the room he said...."nice bolo, but your cover knots are not quite right". 20 feet away and he could see that my knots were not quite right. He showed me what he had seen, and then sold me another roll of handcut....

I still wear the bolo "not quite right" knots and all.

Braiding is a great skill with great rewards...even if your knots are a bit off.

27-03-2007, 21:15
I must say I am very impressed with the standard of leather braiding on this thread, everyone one of you who has shown work here is to be applauded, craftsmanship of the highest order. I must admit I'm still getting the hang of braiding paracord, but seeing the display of excellence here, I will practice to get better.

Heh Red, good luck with your knife project mate, with the level of craftsmanship and enthusiasm shown on this site, its got to be a winner.


27-03-2007, 21:21

I have found braiding paracord to be somewhat harder than leather, so I am betting your work may have prepared you more than you think for transitioning to leather.

Paracord with the core I find tends to twist its innerds and fight my attempts to place it properly. Gutted paracord is easier, but its flatness and tendency to change diameters makes the braids more uneven.

Leather lace generally behaves nicely in comparison.....give it a go.

28-03-2007, 17:09
I have no idea where to source leather cord that thin over here though (other than imposing on Buckshot which I'm loathe to do)...anyone have a source?


I'm going to get some from the guy who is currently making a whip for me - if I'm in time as he's just placed an order himself so it's touch and go if I can add to it. Not sure if I should just get some precut (he tells me he has to buy it in 100m rolls) or to go for a hide and have fun...

31-03-2007, 03:00
I get all my leather tools and leather from mainly one place down towards holloway, it stocks mainly only veg tanned leather, high quality skins, it has some of the modern gold and silver skins which some are obviously chrome tanned but more for fancy looking hand bags and what not, his pig skins, rabbits, goat and cow are all very good.
Also handy I find for small projects are two metre sq boxes of scraps, also the leather thong maker they sell works very well, but you need to have lots of fresh blades handy if you want to get really thin thongs like I use.

The other place I use for small veg tanned suedes and some leather is portabello market, if you come out of the tube, cross the road, and go through the alley way, he's about half way down, not very reliable when it comes to ordering supplies for you, but he has offered me a full size cow hide rug for 50 quid before, and it was nearly 20 ft sq. I use his suedes for making shoulder bags. and pouches and other soft stuff.

Thats if your near or can get to london easily.