Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Make Native American Leggings

How to Make Native American Leggings
Today I am posting instructions on how I make leggings for my moccasins.

The goat hide leggings.

The leather leggings with cuff.

Materials: 2 pieces of leather or hide
6 leather thongs 12” long
6 conchos

I cut them in length to go from a couple if inches below the knee to almost the ground or to the ground in the back. They are a bit narrower at the bottom.
Add an extra two inches if you want a cuff.
Mine are 15” wide and 16” long without the cuff. I am tall and have thin calves.

Cut two little slits with an exacto knife ¼” long and ½” apart.

These need to be three places along the leather which is BOTH the height sides. Through the cuff you will be cutting through on both sides (not at the same time).

The top outside should point to the back, so it’ll be reversed on the other one.
Start on the back side, the side closet to your leg. Go down from the top 1” and in from the side 2”. Mark your slit with a pen.
Measure 4” from the bottom and mark there. Make your third mark in the middle of these.
Cut the slits.
Now comes the tricky part. Fit them around your leg with the cut (the sides with slits) on the out side. Stick your pen in the little holes and mark the other side. The top hole has to be snug to hold them up so you might want to make it a little bit too small and let the lacings make up that difference. Cut those.

Put the lacings in the inside side and then through the outside part.

Slide on the conchos and tie a knot in the end of the lacing.

Now you are almost done. Do the other side reversed of course.

*** I have two cuts (settings) in the top of mine. One for wearing with skirts and one for wearing over jeans.

Hope you have fun making the leggings and enjoy wearing them.

Leggings are great for those cool nights at the powwow and for kicking around the farm or the city.


  1. Diana,
    Thanx so much for taking the time to share directions and pictures for making leggings. I am going to get brave enough to try them (with fabric) but first I have to order some conchos ... and your kindness in linking my shop here is much appreciated!


  2. Let me know if you run into problems making your leggings. Diana

  3. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing the details with us. I don't dare even think about trying it! The one thing I don't need is to take on another art medium. I think I will just leave leather work to those who do it well. Joni

  4. Joni, I'm from a long line of backwoods country people, so if you want it you make it yourself. I can sure see the wisdom in your words as I have been building a barn. Glad the horses don't have levels and don't complain about shoddy carpentry. :)

  5. Thank you it is a wonderful help, now to make native american leggings is simple with your recommendation. Thank you