From a single, simple cord to a wide swatch that features a silver dollar, leather bracelets come in a wide variety of styles, colors and designs. Leather bracelets have been worn by everyone from Indian tribes to surfer dudes, from hippies to the fashion-conscious set. These versatile pieces remain a staple that makes a statement, whether it be subtle, bold or stuck with spikes. Proper care will ensure the longest life for an accessory that will always be in style.
The most frequent use of a leather bracelet today is for appearance's sake. Thicker bracelets can be used to protect the wrists. Some can also include a useful metal plaque attached, such as a name tag or medical ID that lists a person's medical needs and condition. Others can be fashioned into bands that hold watches or a favorite charm.
Two of the most popular leather bracelets are leather cuffs and thin, braided wristlets. Cuff bracelets are often secured with a buckle or snap and can be embellished with artwork, studs or other trinkets. Braided leather can either be snapped or tied together at the ends, the latter making for a permanent adornment until it is either cut or falls off. Both can include a central showpiece, not necessarily made out of leather, to which the cuff or braided ends are attached.
Leather bracelets are extremely versatile to fit a variety of styles. Thick, black leather versions are often adorned with studs and worn by the biker or punk crowd. Gothic styles, too, embrace thick, black leather cuffs. More subtle leather bracelets can feature small silver or gold charms either woven throughout or dangling from the leather. Bracelets can be etched with a person's name, favorite short quote or significant words. Other trinkets often found on leather bracelets include coins, metal skull ornaments, gemstones or other baubles and beads. Black and brown are the most popular colors of leather bracelets, but the hues span the rainbow.
The 1960s were a heyday for leather bracelets, especially in England and America. One couldn't travel very far without finding the hippest cats donning a leather cuff. Leather cuffs are once again becoming a popular accessory. Kids, too, may be outfitted with the popular name bracelet, usually in a dark brown with lighter brown letters tooled into it, fastened with a snap.
One of the biggest problems with leather bracelets, especially the thicker ones, is that they can start to smell. Sweat, moisture and other dirt can collect on the leather, making it eventually emit a foul odor that no one wants near their body, much less attached to it. Although some leather bracelets are permanently tied to the wrist, bracelets will last much longer and remain in better shape if they are taken off for showering, exercising and other activities where they may get sweaty or wet. Leather that gets wet will get soft and can eventually begin to wear and even disintegrate. Heavily used leather bracelets can be sprayed with a leather protector before wearing to help preserve them.
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Photo by Ryn Gargulinski