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How to install your new Stampede chain

The stampede chain, what is it?

What I mean by a stampede rope or cord is the braided horsehair that is attached to a cowboy hat, or other styles of hats as well, to secure the hat to the head. It usually hangs almost to the belt buckle and is often finished with a horsehair tassel hanging at the end of the cords. At least that’s how Knot-A-Tail strings are made.

These stampede ropes, laces, or cords are now decorated with a variety of materials. He can be made of horsehair, rawhide, braided leather. The name “stampede lanyard” has come to describe these lanyards as an obvious result of application, because a properly attached stampede lanyard will keep your hat on even in the midst of a cattle stampede!

More than once, while attending some community horse shows, I have observed a stampede rope being made out of yarn, directly from the bales of hay they brought with them. If you’ve ever lost points at a horse show for losing your hat, which I believe is a 5 second penalty, you may also need a stampede chain.

The Looped Style Stampede Rope

This guy forms a hat band

Knot-A-Tail has 15 different styles of patterned strings and each style has at least 2-3 color combinations ranging from horsehair, leather, and rawhide, so there are many different styles of patterned strings available to choose from. However, there are mainly two types of stampede ropes: the loop style and the cotter pin. You’ll want to know which type will work for you and how it’s installed before you buy a stampede rope.

The first type is the loop stamped chain. The loop style stampede rope requires two holes to be placed in the brim of the hat. The holes should be as close to the lining of the hat as possible, just behind the ears, or wherever you find the stampede rope to be most comfortable. I usually place the hat on the clients head and can see where the stampede rope should rest.

Making the holes in the hat.

Two small holes are needed to install a looped stampede rope.

Once you find exactly where you want the stampede rope, you’ll need to put two small holes in the hat. I like to use an awl, which is a tool that has a small sharp point and the shaft gradually gets thicker. The awl easily separates the material from the hat and if you are careful the awl will not cut the material but will separate it.

Again, make sure you know the exact location for the holes before you begin. Then start slowing down by pushing the punch up. You want to make the hole from the bottom of the rim to the top. After countless times of installing a looped stampede rope, I found that the awl passes through the material more easily from bottom to top and the hat holds its shape better.

However, do not force the punch, just gently and with a foot push, let it advance through the material. Now test the size of the hole by slipping one of the end loops of the stampede rope through the hole. (end loops are the loops on opposite ends of the tassels) There is one loop for each side. The final loops just loop back on themselves, so don’t worry if the loops come loose. Just be aware of how the loops are made, so you can redo them once you’ve slipped the loops through the holes.

You want the fit to be tight. It’s better if you really make the hole too small and re-drill it a few times, rather than making a big hole the first time. Once you’ve threaded the final loops, you’re basically done.

If the end loops still have the loops attached, just open them up larger, because they form a hatband around the crown of the hat. If you undid the loops, loop again. The lasso is like the lasso of a Lariat. Don’t worry, you basically can’t damage the stampede rope unless you cut it somehow. The looped stampede rope is so long anyway because the loops are made to become a hat band. So just cross the ties over the top of the hat. Push the strings down into the crown where a hat band would rest and you’re done.

That’s it for the looped patterned rope. Just adjust the slider under your chin and you’re ready to go.

The cotter stampede rope.

It’s easy to install a Stampede clevis rope.

The key type is by far the easiest to install, which is perhaps why it is so popular today. Start by placing the hat on your head and hold the stampede rope in a place that is most comfortable for you. This will depend on the person, some like it in front of the ear, next to the ear, while others like it behind the ear. If you wear your cowboy hat tilted back slightly on your head, you may want to tuck it behind your ear for better balance.

Just mark the spot with your finger. Place the hat upside down on the crown of your head. You will see that the lining has threads where the lining is sewn to the hat. Choose a space between two of the strands that is as close as possible to where you want to place the stampede rope. Slide the cotter pin carefully between the steps.

On the best made hats, the threads are close together, but just move the cotter carefully. You don’t want to cut the thread in the lining. Push the cotter pins all the way to the end of the cotter pin, but not the stamped thread.

Then turn the lining inside out. Now you can easily see the keys. Simply spread them apart until they are flat against the siding. Put the liner back on the inside of the hat and you’re done: simple and easy.

Well now you can ride hard all day and never get off your horse to chase your hat again. More importantly, you won’t have to see your hat fly under the feet of the horse behind you. Stampede strings are not only one of the most particulate items you can add to your western attire, they are also sexy and very attractive, especially Knot-A-Tail’s Stampede strings.

Caring for your Stampede string

Once you’ve installed that new patterned horsehair twine, or perhaps you prefer braided leather with horsehair tassels, you’ll want to learn how to care for your new treasures. Knot-A-Tail offers a free comprehensive eBook on caring for your horsehair products.

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