Fixing a Leather Strap at Spring Valley Lodges

Years ago I a cloak from Half Moon Traveler’s Clothing at a ren faire. It was so warm, I tended to put it on only in very cold weather, so it hasn’t gotten much wear and tear, although I have redone a few stitches. For years, the small leather cord that made up the clasp had a small nick in it, and it finally gave out a few weeks ago.

broken cord

I found that I could get by wrapping the cord around the button several times, and it would actually remain there for the duration of most trips. Long term, I went out and got some leather cord to replace it. However, I did a needle test and found that my small sewing kit wasn’t up to the task.

tough leather

My cousin Jimmy-John owns Spring Valley Lodges where he works on all manner of leather and canvas tents, tepees, as well as other frontier style goods. He’s big into rendezvous, IM Canal, and other historical re-enactor events in the Illinois and Michigan area. I called up for advice and he said to come on down.

Spring Valley Lodges workshop

He rebuilt his garage not too long ago, with a big workshop upstairs. He says the big table is kind of a pain to walk around most of the time, but it starts to feel too small when he’s working on a tepee. He actually put aside the small craft cord I brought and shaved a little off of some of his stock. It turned out to be a good thing, because we didn’t realize the cord was anchored with tabs underneath the decoration.

cord with tabs

After working that out, Jim fired up his industrial strength sewing machine and fastened the new cord in place. The first pass left things a little wide, so we actually pulled it out and cut down the cord a bit. Now I’ve got a working clasp again, with a thicker strip that should hold up even better than the last one (and really, over ten years wasn’t too bad to begin with.)

new cloak clasp

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