I started braiding when my original lead supplier became too busy with her family and business. I was having a hard time finding leads that were of superior quality, or in the designs I wanted.
Being a fulltime professional handler, I give my own leads a pretty hard workout. I made a couple of leads for myself and was pleased with how they stood up to the abuse I give my equipment. I then made leads for a couple of friends who wanted something out of the ordinary, and the rest is history. I've taken a couple of courses in advanced braiding and knotting, wanting to perfect my work, and so far, have been very pleased with the products I've turned out.
I use Kangaroo lace for my leads, as 'roo is considered to be one of the strongest leathers available. For more information on the whys and hows of this, click here.
There is more to making leads than simply braiding - initial leather preparation, braiding, softening, and then finishing. If I won't use it in the ring on my clients dogs, then I won't sell it!
This is an indication of what the each lead looks like at the beginning, middle and end of the process - these pictures are greatly enlarged to show detail.
|Notice how the lace edges are rough|
|Lace edges are now closer together - and smoother|
|Finished product - soft, smooth and easy on the hand|
My leads and collars have adorned Best In Show and Best In Specialty winners in Canada, the United States and in Europe. Many of my customers start with 'just one' special lead, which becomes two or three or four, and then they buy one for a friend, or as a gift for a host when travelling.
If you are interested in something really special or different, please contact me.