On the “Fringes” of History ~ Pam Crooks

Back in August of 2015, I announced that Petticoats & Pistols had opened up an official Pinterest account.  Pinterest was just gaining traction as a site featuring all kinds of fun pictures that one would pin to these strange things called ‘boards.’ It also turned into a valuable tool for businesses to market their goods, a big reason why we jumped on board (pardon the pun), too. Since then, we’ve grown to 164,200 views a month.

That’s right.  Our pins are viewed 164,200 times a month.

Pretty incredible, right?

Through the years, we’ve amassed more than 1,800 pins on 42 different boards that highlight not only each filly and an assortment of her books, but . . .

  • Recipes
  • Hunky Cowboys
  • Favorite Western Movies
  • Vintage Clothing
  • Wild West Weapons
  • Western Lawmen
  • Old-Time Medicine
  • Texas History
  • Turquoise and Silver Baubles
  • Windows
  • Cowboy Country Christmas
  • And more.

As I was drooling–um, I mean scrolling–through the boards, I was struck by several really cool western outfits decorated with really cool fringe.

Did you know fringe has been around since 3000 BC, was first discovered in Mesopotamia which is now modern-day Iraq, and was used on shawls and skirts and eventually the entire garment, and that depending on the fabric the fringe was made from denoted one’s class in society?

I didn’t.

Not surprisingly, linen and cotton fringe were worn by the lower classes, and silk fringe by the wealthy.  And . . . fringe was so important and carefully unique, it was actually used as a signature when pressed into clay business ‘contracts.’

Who knew?

Fast forward lots of years, and the Native Americans used fringe as a way to repel rainwater, forcing it to drip down the tassels and off their bodies.  We all know they wore leather, which took tons of time and effort to tan and prepare for wearing.  They refrained from trimming seams in their garments, which would be wasteful after all that work, and thus using fringe solved the waste problem.

Not long after, the 1920s hit, and who doesn’t love a flapper swirling and swinging fringe when she danced?

And then came the 60’s.

Elvis and Priscilla

Now, modern day western wear is adorned with fringe.  Here’s a few straight from our “Western Duds” Pinterest board.

Check out our boards on Pinterest for all things western!  https://www.pinterest.com/thefillies/_saved/ 

Moda Luxe Fringe Purse - Brown , Women's Brown Faux leather fabric lined purse Zipper closure Interior zipper and two pouch pockets Removable shoulder strap Dimensions: 11 1/2(L) x 14 1/2(H). Shell: Polyurethane/Leather. Lining: Polyester. Do not wash. Luggage & Bags

Back when I was twelve or so, I bought a faux suede purse that had a good 12 inches of fringe at the bottom very similar to this one.  I remember vividly coming home and showing my Italian immigrant grandparents (we were visiting them at the time).  As I pulled it from the sack with a great deal of pride, triumph, and flourish, neither of them said a word.  I could hear a pin drop, it was so quiet.  I can only assume their silence meant my prized purse was definitely not their style.

Did you wear fringe? Did you have a favorite garment or accessory with fringe?

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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but she's proud of her contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing, too! Stay up on the latest at www.pamcrooks.com

40 thoughts on “On the “Fringes” of History ~ Pam Crooks”

  1. I don’t think I have any fringe. I did have fringe on moccasins I bought in Cherokee when I was a kid.

  2. This was a great blog. I’ve never done any OU trust, but I might have to go browsing.

    • I know just what you mean, Rhonda! Sounds like your leather jacket is the real deal. True leather is, indeed, heavy, and will last forever. Hang onto it – it’ll likely have some value to it.

    • I’ll bet you did have some fringe on a purse when you were younger. You and I are close to the same age, and we grew up when fringe was the rage.

  3. Yes my grandmother took us (late 60’s) to visit her disabled, wheelchair bound Indian friend – he traced our feet and hand made fringed moccasins for all of us!
    They were the most comfortable shoes I have ever had!

    • Custom-made moccasins? Wow! Too bad your feet had to grow. Otherwise, you might still have them today. LOL.

      Great memory, and so generous of your grandmother’s friend!

  4. I’ve always thought fringe was so fun. I just begs to move. It’s like those full skirts that you just can’t help twirling in so they will flare outward. Super fun post today, Pam! Makes me wish I had more fringe in my wardrobe. 🙂

    • Yes!! “Begs to move” is the perfect way to describe fringe, Karen! You almost feel like a kid twirling and swaying and watching all those little strands go back and forth. LOL.

      Thanks for dropping by, filly sister!

    • Ah, another moccasin fan! I haven’t heard of anyone who didn’t love a pair of moccasins – although I kinda remember thinking the soles could have been heavier when I was kid. LOL

  5. CONGRATULATIONS what a fun post today. thanks for sharing. yes I wore fringe on some shirts and skirts. my little sister has always loved fringe on a purse (similar to above) as she became an adult, she didnt want to spend that much money on a fringed purse, so she learned leather work and made her own. she still does many years later. and she continues with leather working. with her wedding she made a leather dress with fringe and she made leather boots with fringe. think indian style. she made her fiance a leather shirt with fringe. it was a beautiful wedding. they both reenact the indian trading time period. and they both ride Harleys. so their clothing were a mixture of both. very cool. I have made chilidrens clothes with some fringe. they loved moving and making the fringe swirl.

    • Good morning, Lori. Yes!!! I should have included bikers in my blog – they are also big fringe-wearers!

      I’ve always admired anyone who can work leather. Tooling is such an exact art. You can’t make a mistake – the leather isn’t very forgiving. Your sister sounds very talented and artistic. Sure would be fun to see pictures of her wedding.

      Thanks for sharing – so interesting!

  6. I don’t have anything with fringe now, but I do remember having a purse and a dress that had fringe!

    • A dress with fringe! Now that’s something I never had. I’m surprised – because I loved fringe for awhile.

      Thanks for joining me, Trudy!

  7. Pam, what an interesting post. For the record I love fringe. Fringe on anything really makes me feel feminine. Right now, I have a turquoise shirt with fringe hanging from the neckline. I just love it. Give me fringe on everything–purses, boots, clothes. By the way, I love the pix of Elvis! A new movie about him is hitting the theaters on June 24 and I have my calendar circled. I never get tired of him.

    • You have a bit of an advantage, Linda. Living in Amarillo and now Lubbock is all cowboy country. No doubt you fit right in with fringe, and I’m jealous!

      I’d forgotten about the Elvis movie! Thanks for the reminder. The movie would be worth seeing just for the music, but then who doesn’t love Tom Hanks?

      I bet there’ll be fringe somewhere. What do you think? 🙂

  8. I have seen lots of fringe on others, but aside for fringe on moccasins and maybe some other sandals, I do not think I wore any fringe on anything.

  9. Hi Pam, yes when I was win HS leather fringe jackets were in , so for Christmas my parents got both my younger sisters and I a leather fringe jacket, and I loved, loved mine. Thank you so much for this info about fringe, I enjoyed reading it and I also learned from it. Have a great weekend and stay safe.

  10. Even in the 60’s I didn’t wear fringe. Not that I didn’t like it, but I just never had any. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that I had fringe. Our daughter was Fancy shawl dancing and the shawls have fringe all around. I made one for myself. When we went to a rendezvous, my husband got leather leggings with fringe. The reason for fringe on the Native American leggings was not just a path for water. They left it long on the bottom because it dragged behind and would wipe away your footprints making you hard to track.

    • Pat, I had to Google Fancy shawl dancing. WOW!! I wish I would’ve known about it. I would’ve put a video clip in my blog.

      And your daughter does this? She must be very athletic – the shawls are beautiful!!!

      Interesting about the fringe on NA leggings! Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

      Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Pam I had a suede jacket “back in the day” when those were popular–I think I was a sophomore in high school, so probably about 1973 or so–and it was my pride and joy! Then I bought moccasins to wear. (fringed, of course!) and at one point, I had a pair of boots that fringe around the top of them. Loved all of those things! I still have a couple of pairs of moccasin/boots with fringe and one pair has double rows of it. Love them, and they look great with leggings in the winter. I loved your post–so interesting–and yes, I had a purse very much like the one you posted with fringe on it. A PRIZE possession!!!!!

  12. Cheryl, I remember your fringe attire. I had a soft leather patchwork bag style purse with fringe that I loved. My mom received a lovely fringed jacket from my dad and she wore it when they went coubtey western dancing. She kept it the rest of her life.

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