Ladies Buckskin Dresses

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1. For Sale - In Stock
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No dresses ready for sale at this time.

Contact us to see what dresses are currently in progress
See ordering information below, or check back later!

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2. Style & Pricing Information
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Items Shown Below Are Not For Sale

        Southern Style Dress

  Southern Style Dresses   2nd dress NOT OURS


We make custom patterns for dresses, and cut
out the pieces for full buckskin dresses. But
people who bead these dresses NEVER want
the dresses sewn together, which are easier
to bead without pieces & fringe attached. We
also don't spend hours hand-tying fringe that
some tribes consider "traditional". Contact
us for a referral if you absolutely MUST
have hand-tied fringe .

We specialize in cloth top buckskin dresses.

Southern & Northern Style
Cloth Top Buckskin Dresses

These dresses are great for dancers who can't afford a beaded dress & don't have time to bead one for themselves. Decoration styles are the same as with beaded dresses, whether it's a northern or a southern style dress. But the designs are appliqued in fabric instead of beadwork or quillwork.

These dress tops are fully lined with a cotton /polyester fabric and edged with similar edge binding. So even if it's made of wool tradecloth, the wool won't cause an itch-fest on you. The lining also keeps the tradecloth or satin top from stretching out of shape due to the weight of the sleeve fringe.

please check powwow contest rules ahead of time.
A FEW powwows require buckskin contest category
participants to wear a COMPLETELY buckskin
dress. Most powwows DO NOT have such rules.

The southern-style yellow top dress shown (left) is made from 100% wool tradecloth. The designs on this dress co-ordinate with the beaded crown set shown sitting on on top of the dress form. Dress tops are fully lined, and feature long fringe along the bottom edge of the sleeves.

Southern style dress tops are tucked under a wide concho belt at the waist (see dresses at left). They often have decorated "tabs" hanging below the belt, as shown in the full buckskin photo at left (we altered this dress -we didn't make it). The sleeve fringe is attatched to the sleeve along the bottom edge of the sleeve only, not up the sides too.

The dress top above is made from 100% wool tradecloth. Tops can also be made from wool blend tradecloth, 100% wool (not banded), satin, velvet or other suitable fabrics, or even a favorite Pendleton blanket. Our cloth tops are fully lined. All dress tops tie at the sides. Skirts are held up by a non-stretch cloth tank top.

All dresses are sold UNBEADED.

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Northern Style Black Wool Cloth Top
Appliqued in an Ojibway Style Design
for a White Earth Band dancer

    This black wool top dress was decorated
in a distinctive woodlands floral style
for an Ojibway dancer. It has buckskin
fringe along the bottom edge of the bodice,
and long sleeve fringe around three sides
of the sleeves. The skirt is undecorated,
ready for the dancer's own beadwork.

Northern style dress tops are often
worn hanging over a beaded belt or
concho belt. Their sleeves have fringe
on all 3 sides of the sleeve. Sleeve length
& shape vary depending on tribal style.

Cloth Top Buckskin Dresses

Northern Style red Wool Cloth Top
Appliqued in a star quilt design
With Matching Purse for a Northern
Ioway of KS dancer living in SoCal.   Northern style dress with
  elk skin fringe on sleeves
This Northern style wool-topped dress with matching
purse (shown at left) was made for a northern Ioway
tribal member livning in the LA area. Her family
was originally from White Cloud, KS, the Northern Iowa
reservation in the NE corner of the state, not too far
from Manhattan KS, home of Kansas State University.
The long fringe on the sleeves was a large elk skin
she sent me to use for the sleeve fringe. She had
originally made a full skin dress then decided to
make a cloth top for the dress instead, so it would be
more "wearable" in the warm southen California weather.

  Northern style dress with
  fully beaded top by Christy
This fabulous Northern style fully-beaded
top dress (shown at left) was made by our
adopted niece Christy. It took her over a
year to bead! Since dresses with fully beaded
tops like this one will cost $10K-25K+ IF
YOU CAN EVEN FIND ONE for sale (used),
it's easy to understand why our cloth tops
for existing dresses and our full cloth-top
dresses are so popular with dancers. They are
also cooler than skin dresses in summer.


All dresses are sold UNBEADED.

Wool Top W/Imitation Elk Teeth & Fringe
This red wool-blend tradecloth top dress
(3-band selvedge edge) is made with a less
expensive wool-blend tradecloth. The top is fully-lined with cotton/polyester fabric and
features imitation elk teeth decoration &
buckskin fringe along the bottom edge of the
bodice. The skirt on this dress has decoration
of bone & glass bead dangles.

Cloth Dresses W/Garment Pigskin Suede Fringe

A long time ago, women did not wear long sleeve
fringe on their dresses. It would be getting
in their way contantly while doing their daily
chores (see shorter sleeve fringe on older
buckskin dress (3rd photo on this page).
But in today's high-stakes contest powwows,
women who dance in contests really like long
fringe. There is meaning behind the way a woman
swings her long sleeve fringe, but it varies by
location & tribe, that's not the subject here.

Long sleeve fringe cut from deer skin and elk
skin is heavy and swings correctly for serious
contest dancers. But in fact it also sheds all
over your outfit for a long time. You've GOT
to carry a sticky lint brush in your regalia
suitcase at all times until the shedding ends.

While sleeve fringe cut from other matericals
may not swing quite the same as fringe cut
from deer or elk skins, we've cut fringe for
outfits from GARMENT GRADE pigskin suede
and even Ultrasuede, that doesn't have the
same shedding issues as cut deer & elk skins.
The cloth dresses (at left) show the beauty and
wearability of a hand-washable fringe that
doesn't shed badly.

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Items Shown Below Are Not For Sale

Satin top w/Ultrasuede skirt

Buckskin Dress, Purse & Leggings
Entirely Made of Ultrasuede

Full Buckskin Dresses

Southern-style buckskin dresses have waist flaps in front & back that tuck underneath a beaded or concho belt, "leg" extensions on the sleeves & fringe on the sleeve ends. Slit or "boat" necklines are traditional, but square necks are a popular modern fashion. Skirts are tied with thongs on the sides, but can also be sewn.

Our dresses feature fringe cut into the hemline and along the sides of the skirt. The dress shown (top left) features a skirt with hand-tied fringe at the hem (extra charge), tin cone & cowry shell trim on bottom "legs" of the skirt. A tank top holds the skirt, and is covered by the buckskin top. The dress is shown modeled with accessories (not included), and is ready for beadwork.

All of our dresses are sold UNBEADED.

Southern buckskin dresses are decorated with
beadwork, but the tops are not fully beaded
like Northern style buckskin dresses. This
dress with black beadwork (shown at left)
and accessories was created by Christy &
modeled by Laura (Cherokee Nation). This dress
& accessories sold for $23,000 (not by us).

Since dresses are much easier to bead when
unassembled, we will custom-cut your pattern
& your skins, ready for your own beadwork.
Contact us for quote on custom-cut patterns
& dress pieces. Custom cut patterns & cutting
your skins & fringe for a buckskin dress
generally runs in the $350 range.

All of our dresses are sold UNBEADED.

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Satin top w/Ultrasuede skirt

Buckskin Dress, Purse & Leggings
Entirely Made of Ultrasuede

The past several years have been brutal to the
world of skin tanning companies. A large tannery
(and our main supplier) went out of business
after 100 years. One of our favorite current
tanneries is located in St.Louis MO and their
nearest supplier is a LONG 4-hour drive away.
Foreign markets have exploded and driven up the
wholesale cost of skins-a single rabbit skin went
from $1.50 to $9. Deer and elk skins have gone
way up. We can't even get our favorite imported
New Zealand ranch-raised deerskins any more (they
were large & had few flaws).

So as a result, we are no longer selling deerskin
or supplying them them for buckskin leggings or
dresses. Customers are responsible for buying their
own skins for projects because we can't get them
any cheaper or from other sources than customers.
Because of the cost involved and the "shedding"
issues with deer and elk skin, we have begun
switching to Garment Grade pigskin suede and even
Ultrasuede for projects such as leggings, fringe
and skirts. Pigskins come quite large and are
usually free of holes & flaws like deer skins.

Ultrasuede is a somewhat expensive but flawless
deerskin substitute, actually a microfiber
polyester that's cool, lightweight & washable.
We've used Ultrasuede for dresses (at left) and
MANY sets of men's "buckskin" leggings.

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Items Shown Below Are Not For Sale

Cloth Top for Buckskin Dress

Buckskin Dress Tops

These buckskin dress tops are made from 100% polyester suiting fabric that won't stretch under the weight of the buckskin skirt when worn. Cotton binding around scooped neck & armholes, fits loosely. $45

 When ordering your top, specify bust & length measurements.

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3. Photo Archive Section
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Items Shown Below Are Not For Sale

Satin Wedding Dress         Wool blend Cloth Top Wedding Dress             Black Satin with floral & turtle designs

These dresses have cloth skirts with fabric applique and buckskin fringe keeping cost of dress to a minimum

Pink 100% Wool Tradecloth Top dress made to match beadwork at right


Yellow 100% Wool Tradecloth Top dress with royal blue accessories with roses - Matching shawl, purse, leggings & beadwork








Girls Southern buckskin dress after beading                 4T buckskin dress for Tonkawa girl         2T buckskin dress for friend's granddaughter

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