Fringed leather clothing adds an authentic Old American West appearance. Men’s western wear has always included fringe as an integral part of the design. Old west hunters, trappers, mountain men, and ranchers derived the designs from fringed Indian buckskins.

The long fringe has several functional purposes. The leather strips act as wicks, drawing water off the garment. This wicking action speeds drying and increases wear time before the garment is soaked through.

Some frontiersmen kept their fringe long enough to wrap and tie sleeves or legs tightly to enhance protection against wind and cold. Also, fringed clothing ensures that long strips of leather are quickly available. Some documents mention that western buckskins would be bare of fringe by the end a hunting season because all the strips would have been cut off and used for tying. One modern author describes fringe as “the duct tape of the old west.”

In certain types of forests or brushy undergrowth, fringed clothing is said to reduce the noise of movement. The fringe reduces the sound of impacts and scraping as a hunter moves through vegetation.

Visually, leather clothing with fringe hanging from shoulders, arms, and legs breaks up the outline of the hunter, improving chances of approaching game.

Fringed leather coats, shirts, and pants are both beautiful and practical. These designs represent frontier garments that may have been worn in the 1800s (even as early as the 1700s) by American outdoorsmen, but with added modern details such as smooth operating zippers and acetate linings.

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