Fire Horse Strop

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 “Form ever follows function” 

Louis Henri Sullivan, 1896 

My first strop was a horsehide piece from an extremely well known strop maker. Back then, this type of strop was common place, as it had been for a very long time. Over the last few years though, it seems that strop makers are moving away from horsehide in favor of other leathers. So – I decided to try and make my own. 

Horsehide is my favorite leather to strop on, especially when it has this particular type of finish on the working surface. I’ve treated this one so there’s just the slightest bit of ‘nap’ to the leather. When horsehide is dressed this way, it has an almost suede-like type of texture. When I brush the surface with my finger, I can see the nap changing direction; and it appears to turn darker or lighter – depending on which direction I’m brushing the grain. 

I’ve added a second component to the assembly, a matching length piece of 100% linen fire hose. This horse and hose combo is, in my opinion, represents a perfect marriage of function and form. 

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© Keith V Johnson 2014 - 2018