Leathercrafter Linda Brown.

Linda is all tied up in knots

Knotty leathercrafter Linda Brown

  • Jul. 27, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Linda Brown may own one of the few business in the country that relies almost solely on kangaroos.

From her home in Sooke, Brown runs Knotty Linda leathercrafting.

“I specialize in fine braiding and fancy knotting of kangaroo and English bridle leathers,” she said.

Brown uses mostly kangaroo leather because of its unique physical properties.

“In a lot of the work to make a braid, you have to pull really tight on it. And if you pull that tight on cow leather with it that thin to make those decorative knots and braids, it will break.”

Several rooms in her home have been dedicated to the construction and storage of her creations: hundreds of colourful bracelets were displayed neatly on racks near the kitchen,  and dozens of what looked like belts hung from the ceiling in a converted bedroom — but they weren’t designed for humans.

“About a year ago I changed the focus of my business to dog leads and collars,” said Brown.

Making them from English bridle leather, which is derived from cow hide and is very strong and water resistant, it gets its name from from being commonly used to construct bridles for horses.

Designs range from supple brown leads with gold buckles to jet black collars with polished studs, costing anywhere from around $30 to $60.

“I can’t help but make bling, because people want it,” she said.

Brown didn’t always focus on canines — initially, her products were very much people-focused.

“When I first started off my business, I wanted to make whips and floggers. And the reason for that is a good whip handle or flogger handle can really show off my talent as a braider and knotter.”

While it fulfilled her creative needs, she said there wasn’t a lucrative market for her work.

“A lot of people who want those kinds of instruments are not interested in a $300 work of art, a $20 sting will do the trick.”

She still makes custom orders here and there, but other items have unexpectedly been far more popular —  like her zipper pulls.

“A little boy came up to my booth with a toonie in his hand wanting to buy something, but $30 is about the cheapest thing in my booth. So I went home trying to figure out what I can do, and I started to make zipper pulls out of cord.”

What was meant to be a trinket for kids has garnered quite a following — Brown now makes fancier versions with kangaroo leather for adults, as well as sport-themed pulls complete with logos for teams. She even provides members of the Sooke business community, like Western Foods and Sooke Harbour House, with customized zipper pulls to hand out to clients and employees.

You can find more of Knotty Linda’s products at www.knottyl inda.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP have dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read