Swedish Lapland Reindeer Leather Bracelets
The exquisitely crafted reindeer leather bracelets, fashionable beauties popular in northern Europe for many years are now gaining recognition among designer houses and exclusive boutiques in Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles. They have been featured on the cover of Elle, in Cosmopolitan and the French magazines L’Esprit MC and Avantage.
These elegant bands of plush leather were created by the indigenous Sami’s once known as Swedish Laplander’s or Lapps. The Sami’s, descendants of nomads, occupy this northern clime bordering the Arctic Circle and were perfected artisans of the unique reindeer leather bracelets. A custom practiced for hundred’s of years among their culture.
The reindeer hide which generally has characteristic scars is cured and vegetable tanned. The tannin commonly used in the solution is extricated from the bark of willow, fir and birch trees. This process produces a durable, naturally soft, malleable leather that can be easily molded. It is a breathable, hypoallergenic material, free of chrome and nickel. Surprisingly it will not become damaged if occasionally wet. A shiny patina and more pliant leather develops the more frequently it is worn. It should be tight when new, sitting comfortably below the wrist bone since it stretches and molds the first few wearing’s. However, once it conforms to your wrist the reindeer leather bracelet will maintain its uniform definition for decades.
What makes these leather bands so exceptional isn’t just the unusual reindeer leather, but, also, the delicate, intricate ornamentation sewn onto the bracelet. The thread is coiled pewter invented by the Sami from melted tin alloy and 4% silver. The pewter embroidery can be stitched on wool insets of black, red or white. The more favored style is braided designs in the ancient patterns, double wave and shoot, geometric double wave and braid and twisted rope, wave, sunburst and branch. Some braids are colored spun copper wires intertwined with pewter, an addition in the 1900’s. A twisted leather loop and button or clasp made from shed reindeer antlers acts as the fastening. The loop is attached with synthetic sinew, sen-trad. The tips of the thread are burned rather than knotted contributing to its comfort. The button is strengthened with a piece of leather pasted on the back before being affixed to the bracelet. It can be placed in different positions according to traditions learned. An age old charmer which has found its way to faraway corners of the globe in a new venture showcased as a modern day fashion accessory of incomparable quality.
This versatile bracelet in many designs and colors, it responds well to dyeing, has been drawing the interest of some celebrities. Sheryl Crow rocks hard as she wears a mix of several reindeer leather bracelets while performing on stage. Chrissy Cerratani, another rocker, with her varied range of musical style, vintage to contemporary, chooses to wear a combination of these bracelets when she brings down the house. The mellow jazz and RB songstress K-Lee has been seen displaying some of her favorites. The Swedish born television personality, Sofia Dickens and on air correspondent for Jeopardy, the clue crew, loves to show off several of these delightful enchanter’s on her wrist. The gentlemen not to be outdone by the ladies have, also, been seen sporting reindeer leather bracelets while in formal attire. Henry Lundquvist, the New York Rangers hockey goalie and Borje Salming, retired hockey Hall of Fame defenseman have been flashing these awesome pieces sure to get the conversation flowing.
Reindeer leather bracelets, remarkable craftsmanship and the latest chic trend would add a sophisticated statement to any wardrobe.