This was standard wear for Eastern woodsmen from the French & Indian War until well after the Revolution. Includes several options for cuffs, cape and fringe treatment. Sizes M, L, XL and XXL.
About Your Plains Indian Buckskin Dress Pattern
The classic apparel of the Plains Indian woman is
the buckskin dress and with all its beadwork, fringe
and other decorations, it is indeed a beautiful garment.
A conservative attitude among these women
has caused dress styles to remain basically unchanged
between the 19th and 20th centuries and the dresses
presented in this pattern most probably were adopted
from Apache styles around 1790 by the Kiowa and
Comanche and about 1840 by the Cheyenne and
Arapaho. Most dresses are straight-cut, rather than
being tailored or fitted and are also rather long by
today’s standards, reaching from mid-calf
to just above the ankle.
Our pattern is a basic, Southern
Cheyenne-Arapaho style and includes
information to allow adaptation to
Comanche or Kiowa type dress by
varying the cutting and decoration
We would like to extend a
very special thanks to Janice and
Kathy Collins, Emile Hardin and
Laura Sanchez for their generous
assistance in the development
of this pattern.
Notions & Tools
Seed beads and beaded medallions; mescal
beans; crow, tile, trade and pony beads; brass
sequins; hawk bells; bone hairpipe and tubes; elk
teeth (either genuine, bone or plastic); cowrie shells;
tin cones; simulated sinew; cotton thread; powder
paint (either tempera or natural pigments).
As buckskin is a natural material, the shape will
vary from hide to hide. For this reason, a size
range is given for these sizes will be adequate. In
the case of the hides for the yoke and sleeve
fringe, a blockier, (more square) shaped hide is
desirable, if available. Five(5) hides are required
for a complete and authentic dress.
Ideally, brain-tanned buckskin is the most
highly desirable material for a fine dress however,
commercially tanned buckskin is available in several
different types that are well suited for Indian
garments. Generally, a white, off white or smoked
color ( light, golden brown) should be selected in
a type of hide which is either sueded on both sides
or has one sueded side and one dull natural finish
on the grain, or slick side. In this case, be sure to
use the sueded side out for an authentic appearance
that is most like brain-tanned.