Popular in the early 1900s, woolie (wooly) chaps were the cowboy's solution to keeping warm on cold winter days spent working on the open range. Woolies quickly became a distinctive fashion statement as well.
Early woolies were "stovepipe" chaps with closed, step-in legs, made to measure. Our woolie chaps (shown) are based on a modern-day chap pattern with more options for adjustment and open-back, buckled legs.
The outer legs of the chaps shown are cut from a soft, fluffy premium angora goat hide supplied by Austin Mohair in southern Minnesota. The fibers on this gorgeous hide are 5-7 inches long.
The angora is topstitched to chaps cut from tobacco brown chap leather with a pebbly, distressed finish. The yoke, made from dark brown bridle leather, is similar to yokes on early 1900s chaps in that the front edges are laced snugly together.
The back belt buckles on the left-hand side. The three straps on each leg are cut from premium latigo and fasten with buckles. All hardware is stainless steel or solid brass.
The price for woolie chaps is based on the cost of the chaps plus the cost of the angora hide. Standard quality hides with fiber length of 2-4" are about $250 each. Large premium hides with fiber length of 4-6" cost about $500 each.
Because the texture and color of the fibers vary quite a bit from hide to hide, it is important to choose a hide large enough so both chap legs can be cut from a single hide. Alternatives to angora include any hair-on hide such as cow, buffalo, bear, moose or sheep.
Although I enjoy chap making, I do not do enough of this work to be really skilled at it. Also, Ada Austin, my source for premum angora hides, has passed away and her business has closed. For these reasons, I am not taking orders for angora chaps.