Lakota Leathers’ American made instrument straps
are assembled on the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota, USA. Pine Ridge has the undesirable distinction of being the poorest county in the entire United States. It’s good to know that your purchase of any Lakota Leathers strap not only gives you the ultimate quality, but helps provide income for people on the reservation. Truly a ‘cottage’ industry, Lakota Leathers straps are assembled in living rooms and on kitchen tables of the people who make these wonderful straps for you.
Lakota Leathers uses only native leathers which have been used by the Lakota people for millenia. Bison (American buffalo) and Elk are the leathers of choice. These leathers are extremely supple and provide for unsurpassed comfort no matter what instrument you play. Our bison hide straps are available in four colors (chocolate, black, spruce, and tobacco) and are available for guitar, banjo, resonator guitar, and mandolin. Hand braided Elk hide straps are available for mandolin and available in a multitude of color choices.
No fleece or padding is needed with these tough yet extremely soft leathers. The Bison hides are heavy, yet as soft as deerskin. Elk hides have a supple texture as well and are very flexible. You will be surprised at the fine texture these natural products have, and it demonstrates another reason why these native animals were, and are so highly valued by America’s native people.
The banjo is in some cases a very heavy instrument. Add to that the design constraints of banjo construction, and suddenly just putting a strap on your banjo can be a complex issue. Let’s try to straighten this out.
For heavy banjos cradle straps are the standard for security and strength. A heavy tone ring banjo such as “mastertone” style banjos and similar types weigh between 9 pounds and 11 pounds. This type of strap wraps completely around the banjo pot assembly. This strap comes with either a pair of “Chicago nuts” or lacing to fasten the strap ends to each other. Wrapping the strap completely around the heavy banjo eliminates any stress points such as attaching a strap to a single banjo hook or bracket. The free ends of the strap are fed under the hooks and cradle the banjo without actually attaching it to the banjo at any point. Think of it like a dog collar. It doesn’t hook on or clip to the dog’s neck, it wraps around it.
If you have an openback banjo or resonator banjo of the “traditional” design, it probably has a number of brackets often called “shoes” that are mounted through the rim with a screw. A popular example would be something like Deering’s Goodtime banjos. Not all cradle straps will work. However Deering has specified which of their straps will work with their Goodtime banjos. They may not work on other brands. It has to do with how the banjo is made, specifically if there is enough space, and if the strap is made thin enough to fit the space between the hook and the shoe. You may need to use a strap that has simple loops or clips on each end that attach to the hooks, one on each side and these will work with every openback banjo as most of these types of banjos are not very heavy. Look through our banjo straps and we will have some hook attachment straps in various brands.
Every banjo strap
from Lakota Leathers is made from American Bison hide. This hide is the softest leather you will ever touch. Padding is not needed. This hide is thick and strong yet very supple and flexible, similar to deerskin- only stronger.
Lakota banjo straps are made in two widths, 2 inch and 3 inches wide. 2 inches is the standard and by far the most popular. Three inch straps offer a wider distribution of the weight of a heavy banjo for folks who are bothered by the pressure point on their shoulder.
Guitar straps work for electric and acoustic, including round neck resonator guitars. The other category of guitar straps is Dobro/Resonator guitars which are played in the lap or face up with a special strap made for this type. The difference being the standard guitar strap attaches to two buttons on a guitar. One on the endpin, the other mounted to the neck heel. If you prefer to attach the top end of the strap to the guitar headstock, the resonator guitar strap would be perfect.
The mandolin is a very lightweight instrument, and the straps are much smaller and more narrow than guitar or banjo straps. This allows for Lakota to make by hand, a wide variety of designs, including flat braided, round braided, multi-color braid, plus simple flat leather straps.