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Leather Guitar Straps – The Guide to Finding One You Love

No matter what attributes you are looking for in a guitar strap, those made of leather are the way to go for both easy maintenance and going the distance when it comes to life span.

Guitar straps have been around in various forms and have served guitars players for centuries.  As with most inventions, the leather guitar strap has morphed and changed to accommodate its use and appearance.  To this extent, there are various leather guitar straps on the market today.

There are various styles and offerings on the market, with each having the individual attributes that set it apart from the rest.  You must do your due-diligence to research the many styles available to make sure you purchase the perfect strap for you

 

What are Leather Guitar Straps?

A leather guitar strap is a long, narrow piece of leather fashioned to attach to each end of a guitar so that the musician may then place the strap over their shoulder to hold the guitar in place.  Most guitar straps will attach at the lower out of the instrument and then on the top horn, close to the neck base.

Leather guitar straps have long been a favorite of musicians for generations due to their look and feel, as well as their resilience and durability.   Today’s guitar straps offer a wide variety of styles to choose from, including a time-worn appearance to an old school look.  Some types provide incredible patterns so detailed they are somewhat of an art piece.

Vintage Tan Leather Guitar Strap - Liberty Leather Goods

Vintage Tan Leather Guitar Strap

 

Types of Leather Guitar Straps

 

Personalized Leather Guitar Straps

Many manufacturers offer the option to personalize their leather guitar straps.  Personalization can be offered in various ways, anywhere from the strap’s length to the width of the strap, which is commonly available in 2.5 to 4-inch widths. 

Others offer the choice of stylizing your strap with the addition of such alternatives as personalized engraving, detailed patterns, or even the addition of rhinestones or other such jewels.

 

Padded Leather Guitar Straps

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Because in most cases, the musician will wear the guitar on their shoulders for an extended period, many will choose the use of a padded leather guitar strap.  These types of straps are most commonly fully adjustable to offer the best fit and comfort.

In most cases, a padded leather guitar strap is constructed of a wider width to offer increased comfortability.  They usually do not contain any hardware, bangles, or such that will only serve to scratch and damage the guitar.

 

Vintage Leather Guitar Straps

Vintage style leather guitar straps are undoubtedly equated with the earlier original rock icons, the invasion of British musicians, and today’s players whose roots appear entrenched in the old rock and roll styles.

When considering the purchase of a vintage leather guitar strap, there are a few facts to take into consideration.  A true vintage style of strap is both elegant and functional, usually exhibiting contrasting stitching, which leads to a finely tailored look that exudes all business. 

Here is a helpful video demonstrating how to attach a vintage leather guitar strap:

 

Handmade Leather Guitar Straps

Many guitar players are going over to the choice of a handmade leather guitar strap.  The advantage of having the strap handmade is that it offers the owner a large amount of decision making into the straps creation and its ending result.

With this choice, one can have a strap handcrafted to fit their every need and still be functional.

With this choice, one can have a strap handcrafted to fit their every need and still be functional.  The designer will choose the type of leather to use and whether the leather will remain natural or have the hide enhanced through additional color.  They may choose the straps length, width, type of adornment they want, or lack thereof.

 

Thin Leather Guitar Straps

Although there are those musicians who prefer a thin leather guitar strap over that of their counterpart, the thicker strap for comfort more than any other reason, there are drawbacks to using a thin strap.

As a rule, and by its very nature, leather is prone to stretching and even tearing.  When using thin leather for straps, the guitar’s weight will prove to shorten the life of most thin leather guitar straps significantly.  A guitar’s weight is meant to be equally distributed over a large area of the shoulder, which is why many prefer a thick over a thin strap.

 

Leather Guitar Straps With Buckle

More often than not, leather guitar straps are not a one size fits all situation.  Sure, you can have one custom made to the exact length you need, but if you choose to buy one “off the rack”, you will not have that option.

That is why many leather guitar straps come equipped with a buckle of some fashion.  This buckle allows the user to custom fit the strap length for their needs by adjusting the strap length up or down via the buckle attachment.

 

Premium Leather Guitar Straps

The materials combined into producing a leather guitar strap are probably among the most essential details of all.  This one detail will determine comfort, durability, performance, and, most notably, the price.

The most common and widely used materials in the production of guitar straps is premium leather.  Premium leather usually runs around $100 or more, and they not only look fantastic but offer the benefit of being extremely comfortable as well.  In many cases, a guitar strap constructed of premium leather will help make the heavier styles of guitars feel lighter. 

The most common and widely used materials in the production of guitar straps is premium leather. 

Distressed Leather Guitar Strap

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Throughout their music career, most musicians will go through several, if not dozens, of guitars.  However, the one constant that seems to remain, longer than any one instrument, is their leather guitar strap.

A well-worn guitar strap is not something to take lightly.  When first purchased, many straps are stiff and uncomfortable, and as a result, they will need some working to soften them–this process is achieved over time.  As a result, as the strap softens and flexes, it will take on a distressed appearance, which adds to its overall visual beauty.

 

Italian Leather Guitar Strap

Much like the saying that the shoes one wears can make the suit, so does the leather guitar strap for your instrument.  Italian leather guitar straps are the perfect accessory for almost any style of guitar.

Unlike other guitar straps fashioned with a metal buckle, Italian leather guitar straps traditionally feature both keyhole and adjustment slots fashioned right into the leather strap itself.  The straps are commonly adjustable from 41″ to 56″ and offer the comfort of a suede backing that is super soft.

 

Walker and Williams Leather Guitar Straps

Walker and Williams have been crafting premium leather guitar straps since 1894, through the use of fine leather goods sourced from all over the world.  Their items are crafted from the best materials available to ensure quality and long-lasting durability.

They offer straps for those instruments such as guitars, mandolins, banjoes, and ukuleles.  Each of their straps is detailed in construction to ensure both a great look and a comfortable stay.

 

Suede Back Guitar Strap

The main advantage of a suede back guitar strap is that of stability.  Suede is a natural substance that works to reduce slipping and increase the traction of the strap.  This increase in traction goes a long way to preventing the irritating slippage that can occur with most styles of guitar straps.

 

Perri’s 2 Basic Leather Guitar Strap

Perri’s Leathers Ltd. is a business located in Concord, Ontario, Canada, and is both family-owned and run.

The Perri’s basic leather guitar strap is available in both the choices of leather and suede.  They are adjustable from 41″ to 56″ in length and available in a 2.5″ width.  The Perri’s basic leather guitar strap is both versatile and simple in its construction and appearance.

Performer Wearing Leather Guitar Strap - Liberty Leather Goods

Performer Wearing Leather Guitar Strap

 

Best Leather Guitar Straps

 

Fender Broken-In Leather Guitar Strap

This brand is by far the hands-down best guitar strap on the market today.  Available in four different finishes—green, brown, black, and tan—this strap has an understated luxury that will give the wearer the confidence that it will go the distance—and then some.

With an oiled finish, the leather cowhide is both soft and pliable.  The adjustable length makes this strap the ideal choice for musicians of any height.

 

Taylor Wings Guitar Strap

Already established as one of the most highly respected names in the acoustic world, now Taylor is taking the guitar strap arena by storm.  Proudly made in America, Taylor Wings do not disappoint with their offering of distressed, multi-layer leather straps that are available in a dark brown tasteful finish.

Available in your choice of either a 2.5″ or 3″ width, this strap exhibits quiet confidence that is associated with the embossed wings motif for which the brand is known .  Sure to look perfect around the neck of the heavy guitar player to the simplest of folk art player.

 

LM Products Odin Viking Series Leather Strap

Handmade in Anderson, Indiana, every one of these straps comes off the assembly line with the same amount of passion put into their production.  The Odin Viking Series is part of the Norse themed straps that the company offers.

The leather is reliable and heavy, giving the confidence that this strap will go the distance and then go the distance even more.  The straps simple design is brilliantly complemented by the addition of its overall brass detailing. Indeed a guitar strap that is worthy.

 

 

DIY Leather Guitar Straps

If you are in the market to make your guitar strap, there are a multitude of DIY videos and sites that provide excellent tips and ideas.

These sites offer everything from cutting the leather, staining, and finishing the strap, along with how to attach such things as embellishments, buckles, and studs.

 

Leather Guitar Strap Pattern

A good suggestion to start your search for a leather guitar strap pattern is on the ever-popular YouTube.  Here you will find several step by step instructions, in video form, so that you may follow along with ease. Here is a helpful video demonstration of how to make a DIY guitar strap:

 

 

 

 

Helpful Insights:

What is the best leather guitar strap?

This question is pretty much subjective to each individual.  Factors that go into what is considered the best leather guitar strap include ease of attachment, ease of adjustment, and how comfortable it is to wear.

 

Which way do leather guitar straps go?

As a rule, most leather guitar straps will turn with the buckle to the outside, and the suede or softer side to the inside, against the musician’s body.

 

How do you soften a leather guitar strap?

There are several means in which you may soften a leather guitar strap.  You can soak the strap in linseed oil, making sure to wipe it down before use.  You can also choose to use an oven at a very low setting for around 10 minutes and then wipe it down in light coats using Neatsfoot Oil, Vaseline, or Mink oil—again, making sure to wipe it down when done thoroughly. 

 

How to Attach a Leather Guitar Strap?

Each leather guitar strap is worn in much the same manner.  The closed-loop is placed up and around the neck and then rests on the shoulders.  One end of the strap, usually fashioned with a string, will attach around the instrument’s neck, while the other end, generally featuring a hole, will slide around the nub at the end of the guitars casing.

Brown Leather Guitar Strap - Liberty Leather Goods

Brown Leather Guitar Strap

 

 

Where to Buy Leather Guitar Straps

Store Description
Amazon Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace.  Here you will be able to shop for various leather guitar straps in a variety of colors and styles.  Amazon is undeniably one of the largest selections of leather guitar straps providing the convenience of one stop shopping.
Etsy Etsy is the largest online source for handmade, vintage, and custom made items.  If you find you are more in the market for a leather guitar strap that is handmade, or perhaps unique, this is the place to look.
Guitar Center Whether you are a guitar pro, or just learning, Guitar Center is the perfect choice for finding your leather guitar strap.  They offer online ordering and have an app for your mobile device.
Sweetwater Sweetwater offers a wide variety of options for leather guitar straps as reasonable prices.  Their straps very in appearance and design while at the same time being comfortable and practical
Walker and Williams Walker and Williams has been in the business of creating leather guitar straps for centuries—as far back as 1894.  They take pride in their experience in the industry and that their business is still family owned and operated.
RedMonkey Designs The leather guitar straps that RedMonkey offers are not only made by hand, but are all proudly made in the USA since 1995.
Moody Leather Moody leather uses naturally sourced Italian leather to craft their leather guitar straps.  The straps are crafted by hand, and the company not only considers their products as their livelihood, but all as its sanctuary.
Musicians Friend Musicians Friend runs its business committed to musicians.  Thi commitment is achieved through free shipping, price matchings, one of the largest selections on the internet, and 45 day hassle free returns.

 

 

 

A leather guitar strap is much more than an accessory. It can be a musician’s best friend.  Available in a variety of both widths and lengths and being adjustable to fit, a leather guitar strap is an essential adornment to most any guitar. 

The strap’s proper style can not only add comfort and stability for the musician but also aids in the prevention of fatigue and the physical toll a heavy guitar can take on a musciaions neck and shoulders. For information on how to protect and condition a quality strap, click here for my article about leather oil. If you’re interested in other leather accessories, click here for my article on leather iPad cases.

 

 

 

Related Topics

 

Do leather guitar straps need frequent maintenance?

If you wish to prolong your leather guitar strap’s life, you will need to make sure that you maintain it.  This is best achieved through cleaning it regularly with warm, soapy water, and once it has completely dried, apply a conditioner by hand.

How much do leather guitar straps cost?

The cost of a leather guitar strap will depend on where they are bought, how they are constructed, and what quality of materials are used.  On average, leather guitar straps can range from $30-$100, with some more trusted names running much higher in price.

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