How to Make Traditional Men’s Fabric Shag Anklets – Craft Tutorial

Posted By Paul G February 6th, 2012 Last Updated on: January 29th, 2013

For a number of generations, it was common for Northern traditional men to wear white Angora goat anklets with long hair below their ankle bells. In the 1950’s they sometimes made these anklets from yarn. Recently other furs were used including Icelandic sheep and Tibet lamb. With natural hides becoming more expensive and difficult to get,  Fur Fabric Shag is now available for making these anklet kits. They look like Tibet lamb, but the hair is a bit shorter, measuring 3 5⁄8 inches long.

Supplies needed:

  • 1 – 4 x 30 inch piece of Fur Fabric Shag
  • 2 – leather thongs
  • 1 – #1 Glovers needle
  • 4 yards – Single strand simulated sinew


First step is to cut the Fur Fabric strip into two 15 inch long pieces. Select one of the pieces and lay it on the work table with the back side up and fur side down. Taking one of the leather thongs, place it along the top edge of the strip, centered so that both ends extend beyond the strip in equal length. (The hair should be hanging down from the top edge.)

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Cut the 4 yard length of sinew into two 2 yard lengths. Thread the Glovers needle with one of the strands of sinew. Pull it through the needle eye to make it a double strand and tie the threads together into a knot at the bottom end. As shown in Photo B, begin sewing the leather thong into the top of the Fur Fabric strip starting at one end. (Depends on if you are right handed or left handed.)

Men's Anklets

Figure C

As shown in Figure C, continue sewing the thong into the top edge using this whip stitch. The thong should stay on the back side of the strip with the whip stitch going over the top edge of the fur fabric then back through the fabric and the thong. As you proceed it will look like Figure D. When you get to the end, finish it off with a double half hitch knot.

Men's Anklets

Men's Anklets

Figure D

Photo E shows a close up of the thong sewn into the fur fabric strip, both front side and backside. Photo F shows the first anklet ready to go. Now complete the other piece the same way.

Men's Anklets

Photo E

Men's Anklets

Photo F

To tie the anklet on your ankles face the fur in the front of your leg, then wrap the thong ends completely around your ankle. pull tight to overlap the ends then wrap the thongs to the front of your leg and tie a bow knot.   Then tie your bells on top of the top edge of your anklets.

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Men's Anklets

Copyright: 2005 by Loren Woerpel, Noc Bay Publishing, Inc.

Home » Native American Articles » Pow Wow » Craft Tutorials » How to Make Traditional Men's Fabric Shag Anklets – Craft Tutorial

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agnes moss

Thank you for putting this one up for all of us that like to do pow-wow regaila. Agnes


my dad had the angora he wore back in the day 🙂
paul, nice tutorial for an economical modern tradish repro ! nyaweh 🙂

Dakotah Sioux

Thank you for sharing this , it is beautiful. I am in the very new process of learning how to tan deer hides and use the leather for native items. If you can help me with learning I would appreciate it very much.

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