Western Hitched Horsehair Belt circa 1940
This is a rare beauty, one end worn a bit (it was worn ,you see), real craft. Puts the new ones in the shade. Great buckle too.
Horsehair hitching was an art form (now revived) popular with prison inmates at the turn of the century. Hitching is a slow methodical process that can create a beautiful woven band of horsehair. Hitching is begun by twisting tail hairs together to create what are called pulls. Sometimes they are called twists, strings or strands, but for this discussion we'll call them pulls. The pulls are knotted over a string using open or closed half hitches. This is where the name hitching comes from. These half hitches are done over a string that is wrapped around a dowel. As the knots are made the pattern works its way around the dowel in a continuous circle. The pattern builds as the string goes around the dowel. The pattern is determined by open or closed hitches as well as adding and dropping pulls. Different colors can be added to make interesting patterns. The process of hitching was and is very time consuming and thus the hitched items that are produced are naturally quite expensive. Horsehair hitching can not be mass produced, so these one of kind piece are well worth the price.