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Thread: Leather straps: flat or braided?

  1. #1
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Leather straps: flat or braided?

    So for those of you who have used both, which is more comfortable? And convenient? Any other considerations? Pros and cons?
    Thanks
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    I have both. Softness of the leather is more important to me, that said, I use both regularly without issue.
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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    I have both. Softness of the leather is more important to me, that said, I use both regularly without issue.
    Same here. Have both, like 'em both.

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    The mandolin is light enough that most any strap that I've tried has been comfortable for me (even a leather boot lace). After buying and using about 20 mandolin straps over the years, my current favorites are braided Lakota straps. I prefer the look of the round-braided Lakota, but the flat-braided Lakota is fine, too.

    Have you considered braiding your own with paracord? If I were in need of a strap, I would at least try that. You can pick colors you like and can modify length and attachment details to your preferences. Lots of good instructions on the Internet.
    Doug Brock
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    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Yes, the round braided Lakota straps (or any others made of very soft leather) work great! A mandolin is so light that rounded straps don't dig in, so getting a flat strap is unnecessary. One real advantage of round straps is that they pack more quickly and easily into the case when you're putting the mandolin away, because you don't have to worry about arranging a flat strap in any particular orientation to get the top to close.

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  10. #6
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Thanks for the responses. I've got a big piece of amazing soft leather, (actually it's my mom's) and I want to try making a strap cuz I like making things. I was wondering which I should make, guess I'll make one of each!
    Doug, thanks for the tip. I'm not currently in need of a strap, but mine isn't great it's quite thin so I want a better one and making stuff is awesome plus I like leather. I asked some other questions in this thread
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...aking-question
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Good idea to make both! I have both, I like the appearance of braided better, but like many have said, comfort is the same.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    I've used and still have both. I prefer my flat straps made of thick leather. The braided Levy and Lakota Leathers straps I have are too soft, especially the end that attaches to the end pin or strap button. The holes that hook over the pin/button get stretched out and then slip off too easily. I like it to be a little difficult to get the strap on (and especially back off) the button. That way it stays put. I can never trust my soft suede braided straps completely.

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  16. #9
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    ... I've got a big piece of amazing soft leather ...
    I'm no leather expert, except to note that some super-soft leather can also be super-stretchy. It'd be a shame to do lots of braiding just to end up with a 6-foot long shoelace.

    BTW, I use both flat marginally-stiff leather and soft round-braided Lakota bison (I think); both types work well and feel good.
    - Ed

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  18. #10

    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    I’d probably save the leather that you have, use it for something else.
    In Europe you can pick up really nice, sometimes strangely fancy 1970s and 1980s leather belts at second hand shops. Often they’re too short for a lot of people to use as belts, that’s why they’re only a couple of euros/US dollars.
    You can use these with braided paracord, or even one single strand at each end -the breaking strain is in the hundreds of pounds.

    If you cant get access to these then I’d say go braided, especially in a hot climate, but less than two and a half feet long, the rest again being paracord, or strong leather cord with fishermen’s knots at the end.

    There is a lot of other more interesting material than leather though, old jeans, clothes etc. I saw some great guitar straps in Brazil using materials that people wouldn’t imagine...

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  20. #11
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Thanks y'all, I'll make sure to test the stretch before starting.
    Again, the purpose of this is not cuz I desperately need a strap, I just want to make one (or two... or seven...) because I like making things, I like leather, and I like the idea of using a strap I made
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  21. #12
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Get a 2 pack of 48"leather shoelaces - can use a single cord as is, or can easily do a flat braid (or go online & learn a round braid). That's what I've used on most of my mandolins & works fine. As a bonus, leave a bit at the tail; tie it around the peg and then around the base of the tailpiece for extra security.

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  23. #13
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    John, I could do that, but I'm just trying to make something with what I already have, and I don't think you can just buy leather shoelaces here
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
    Free backing tracks:
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  24. #14

    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?


    not just plastic bottles...
    Have fun!

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  26. #15

    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    We take for granted what you can just go out and buy here. I use a bootlace on my A1, a Bailey on my Silverangel, and an unknown but very nice round braid on my Arches. The Bailey is the most aesthetically pleasing, but also the bulkiest, but I still get it in the case fine without taking it off the mandolin.
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  28. #16
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    I have a couple non leather straps .. with my D'jangolin I use a Uke Strap looped over my head , With a sound hole hook

    Why not buy both, for 1st hand experience?
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  29. #17
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    I have a couple non leather straps .. with my D'jangolin I use a Uke Strap looped over my head , With a sound hole hook

    Why not buy both, for 1st hand experience?
    I'm not buying either, it is my intention to make one of each, and see which I like better, also, I think a nice leather strap makes a good present for any musician, so I might make more and sell/give a few to people
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
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  30. #18
    Registered User panhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Looks..braided....Comfort..flat.

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  32. #19
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	182012I used a very soft leather and round braided my own, most comfortable strap I have ever had.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  34. #20
    Registered User Bill Baldridge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leather straps: flat or braided?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I've used and still have both. I prefer my flat straps made of thick leather. The braided Levy and Lakota Leathers straps I have are too soft, especially the end that attaches to the end pin or strap button. The holes that hook over the pin/button get stretched out and then slip off too easily. I like it to be a little difficult to get the strap on (and especially back off) the button. That way it stays put. I can never trust my soft suede braided straps completely.
    I learned this trick here on the Cafe years ago. I have never had a strap come loose or even feel like it had a chance to come off. The beer was good too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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