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Knife Sheaths of the early American Frontier
Knife Sheaths that still work well today
Today when one thinks of a knife sheath you might think of a sheath made of a hard plastic worn on the belt. You can see plenty of these in the glass case at your local big box store.
The other popular Production made sheath is the nylon type sheath with a few stitches and rivets holding it together maybe with a camo design. But....if your of the traditional mind set you might be thinking of the leather knife sheath.
Years ago Knives and sheath were carried in different ways and made of leather, rawhide and sometimes wood.
A common way to carry a knife during the 18th and well into the 19th century was high on the belt, often cross drawn. Either worn on the belt or sometimes even thrust through the belt without a belt loop.
Carrying a leather knife sheath in a high carry can still to this day be a great way to carry your knife in the field, hunting, camping or your woods journeys.
Another common way a knife was worn and still is worn by some was around the neck. This is referred to as a neck knife. During the 18th century knives were generally larger and it wasn't uncommon to see a larger sized trade knife worn as a neck knife by long hunters, trappers and Native Americans. The photo below is a period piece from my shop and the neck sheath was done in antiqued brain tanned leather at the top with a hard rawhide body. The beads are vintage trade beads.
As mentioned above it wasn't uncommon for a knife to be worn on the belt through a sash or belt. An example shown below could be worn this way. This sheath was another hand worked from my shop as well as the knife. Sheath of brain tan and rawhide.
This set up below is referred to by some as over the belt carry sheath. The loop on the side can have a belt run through it or sash to be worn on the left or right side, or I have even seen these worn in the small of the back. These continue to be favored by many to this day as a knife carry option for option. I have also seen custom leather pistol holsters set up in a similar fashion. I made the one below for a gentleman that wanted his hunting knife set up this way.