Posted on 19th December 2013
New for Dec 2013 ... a range of adjustable leather cords to fit 3 of our silver dog tags: the 45mm, 1.5" GI and 2.0" GI silver dog tags. These all use the same top-notch, 2.0mm-thick leather which is available in 5 colours:
- natural (a bit like suede - perfect on pale skin)
- pink (strictly for the girls)
- dark red (for Ferrari drivers)
- dark blue (to match those sexy blue eyes)
- black (looks good on everyone)
We used to sell leather cords with silver fittings but they were super-fiddly to make and quite costly. This new range doesn't use any silver so they can be priced lower and they look great, particularly for the more laid back look.
Aren't these the same as every other adjustable leather cord?
Hmm, yes and no. They're the same basic slip knot but we did a bit of R&D and found that the number of coils on the knot separates the really effective slip knot from the merely adequate.
We found they work really well if each of the two slip knots has at least 5 wrap-around coils. The coiling of the slip knot allows it to grip the cord and keep the cord at the right length. We started with a 2-coil knot and while it worked OK, we found it had to be re-tightened every couple of days.
OK, we realise it's not rocket science and we're certainly not about to apply to NASA for engineering jobs. But the verdict is clear: 5 is coils is better than 2. It will loosen up and will require re-tightening but not so often as a knot with fewer coils. It's basically down the longer "tunnel" that 5 coils creates which means there's more friction to both grip and to stay in place.
It's a good idea to tighten both cord knots every week so they're able to keep the cord to the length the wearer chooses.
How do you tighten our slip knot? Easy-peasy: grip the small 'tail' between the thumb & forefinger of one hand and the leather cord on the other side of the knot that DOESN'T move through the knot, i.e. the part which forms the knot. Gently tug these away from each other. Do this carefully and make sure the final knotted tail piece at the top of the coils doesn't get drawn into the coil "tunnel" - it needs to stay on top. Have a go and you'll get it. Do it weekly and your slip knot will stay grippy and function well.
How well do they work?
Truth be told we're rather impressed and we weren't sure we would be. We were slightly concerned that the whole adjustable leather cord thing was more "craft" than "jewellery". However, trial as shown us that they function well, they look good on our silver tags and they make owning a 10STERLING silver tag significantly more affordable. The leather we use is quality stuff that comes from Greece which, we've learned, is home to the world's best leather cord. Why that should be we've no idea but there it is.
The 5-coil knots grip well and keep the cord length remains constant. If they're tightened regularly, and kept clean and dry, then they'll do good service for months. Leather is a natural material and it will wear out over time. We reckon, however, that a single cord should last a minimum of 6mths if it's tightened regularly and (very importantly) if the wearer keeps it out of water.
Always remove the leather cord and silver dog tag before showering, bathing, swimming (especially in salt water which is super-bad for leather) etc. This will stop the leather from losing its natural oils and that means it'll retain its strength; that means it won't wear or snap prematurely. Capisci?
If you sweat a lot then take your cord off your neck at the end of each day and wipe it with a clean, damp cloth without using soap. Don't soak the leather but give it a single once-over wipe, dry it and then put it back on your (clean) body so it can draw oils from your skin and remain nourished.
The average cord will probably start to look worn after about 6 months, maybe less if the wearer sweats a lot and if the cord is regularly exposed to strong sunlight. When it no longer looks good you can either re-tie a new piece of leather or you can buy a silver chain from us. We've got a ongoing promotion to help ease this transition: if you buy any silver chain within 3mths of buying a leather corded silver dog tag then we'll give you the vaue of the cord back, i.e. £5.00. Just email us with your orginal order number or name and we'll email a discount coupon back to you.
If you fancy re-tying your own leather slip knot then have a look at this YouTube video of how it's done. We recommend about 120cm of 2.0mm-thick cord and we suggest tying it with 5 coils rather than 2. Don't expect to get it right first time - practice makes perfect etc. Give it a go and you'll be surprised how good it looks and how well it works.