Buckskin Shirts

To the left you will see some thumbnails of some of the shirts we have made. Below is a brief description of how to go about designing and ordering one for yourself.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us at




If you have ever loved a movie about mountain men, trappers, frontiersmen or the peoples of the Great Plains. If you have loved the look of leather clothing or thought you were born a 100 or 1000 years too late. If you ever thought buckskin clothes were wonderful, on either men or women. If you ever thought that’s how you’d like to dress — you were right!

Buckskin is the most adventuresome "fabric" you could ever wear. It’s a total experience. It hugs you, changes shape to fit you, stretches with you. It wears like iron, doesn’t have to BE ironed and it’s MACHINE WASHABLE!

We, ourselves, have participated for many years in Black Powder Rendezvous, Pow Wow and S.C.A. (medieval) activities. Our photo gallery displays Native American garments but we do other styles as well. Buckskin clothing (and moccasins) apply to most cultural histories, from Asia to Europe to America with very minor differences, mostly decorative.

Our clothing is all custom-made in our workshop. We use primarily deer hide and some elk. Remember, this is a natural material so there will occasionally be scars or "bullet hole" repairs. We will always use the best, cleanest materials available. WE GUARANTEE OUR WORKMANSHIP but unfortunately we can only do our best on material, we cannot guarantee it. All seams are hand-stitched with artificial sinew, never by machine. Most of our garments are cut the old way, by measurements not patterns. We want them to fit correctly and last for a great many years. SparrowHawk, the artist/designer, still wears a pair of pants, an Eagle Wing shirt and a pair of moccasins that are 22 years old and they still look great.

We want you to be overjoyed with the result; for a lot of people, this is a real investment. Major pieces, like some of the more elaborate dresses or shirts, are signed and numbered. Purchasers of those items own that exact design/combination; it’s one of a kind. We will never even try to duplicate it. In any case, there will never be two quite alike!

We have some standard designs (see photo gallery) for you to choose from, we will design specifically for you or we will be happy to help you design for yourself. We are delighted when we are asked for Big or Tall orders, we consider them a fun challenge and look forward to them.

We also offer many decorative options: painted designs, directly on your leather or as appliqués; custom beadwork of all types — strips, rosettes or inseam beading, are the most common; leather in a wide range of colors, including turquoise and purple; assorted fur; thong and bead dangles; tooled leather; sculpted edges; or braided leather trim. Maybe YOU can think of something new to add to that list! NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK!

You will find natural edges everywhere possible, so we never look ‘stamped out’ or ‘machined’. We are famous for using absolutely tons of fringe, as much as you could possibly want. As shown on the price sheet, fringe can be added to your design on a ‘per section’ cost basis, so let your imagination have wings!

As far as your personal design, all suggestions are welcome. Pictures, sketches (stick figures are just fine, we can’t draw either!), cut outs or copies from magazines, etc., are extremely useful. Your ideas are the one thing that makes this work!

We require an eight (8) week working time, longer for very elaborate pieces, but most deliveries are made way before the deadline. It depends on our workload in any given month. Orders are processed on a first-come, first- served basis; however, we do have a "rush" system. Rush costs are 10% of the total price per week cut from the contract — in other words if you need it three weeks early, it will cost 30% of the total bill extra.

Before work will begin, no exceptions, the following are mandatory:

1. A minimum 50% non-refundable deposit.

2. A completed and signed contract, describing an agreed-upon design.

3. Completed fitting sheets.

We do accept payments while we are working if that is easier for you. The balance is due on delivery. We accept money orders and personal checks (please allow time to clear). We happily honor Master Card and Visa or we can send your order to you C.O.D. on completion if you prefer.


1. Read these instructions thoroughly before proceeding. Read the contract carefully before signing.

2. Included lower on this page you will find a price sheet. Note: most things are modular — in other words your colors, decorations, beads sewn into the seams or the amount of fringe are collected into your finished design like puzzle pieces and that adjusts the price. Be sure to make your decisions and state them clearly. Some decorations can be added ‘next year’ but most cannot. If confused, call for SparrowHawk or E-mail us for help. We expect it!

3. You will also find a contract form. This needs to be filled out, signed and accompany the order.

4. You will find fitting sheets both front and back. Both sheets need to be filled out completely and accurately. Recruit a friend to help; some measurements are physically impossible to do on oneself. We keep these sheets on file for at least one year. If in doubt, call or E-mail!

5. We will probably need to have at least one verbal conference at some point anyway, so DO NOT HESITATE to call for SparrowHawk at 253-926-1200, E-mail us at YaTaHai@yatahai.com or simply write us a letter and include sketches, etc., as guidelines.1



Measurements - Front

  1. Neckline: a straight line across your collarbone from left to right, where the neck muscles meet the bones of the shoulders. A straight line across the forehead and past the ears should give you the same measurement. It should give you enough room for the neck opening to go over your head. (Average is 8")
  2. Length of neck slit: From the ‘v’ of your collarbone down your chest however far you want your shirt to open. (Average is 5")
  3. Neck to waist: From the ‘v’ in your collarbone to your waist, where you wear your belt. (Average is about 18" to 20".)
  4. Underarm to underarm: From the center bottom of one armpit to the other. For women, that is above the bustline. (Average is 18" - 22".)
  5. Waist to crotch: From the center of your waist in front down and under to the center between your legs, where the seam of your jeans would be. (Average about 11" - 14".)
  6. Hip, point to point: A straight line across the front at the widest point from the outside of one hip to the outside of the other hip, at the top of the thighbone (Average 20".)
  7. Arm, shoulder point to wrist: From where you can feel the knob of bone at the end of your shoulder straight down the top of your arm to the knob of bone on your wrist. (Average 18" to 24".)
  8. Shoulder to knee: A straight line from the top of your shoulder down to the top of your kneecap. (Average 36" to 42".)
  9. Waist to knee: From where you would wear your belt, straight down to top of your kneecap. (Average 20" to 22".)
  10. Waist to mid-calf: From where you would wear your belt, straight down to halfway between your kneecap and your ankle. (Average 28" - 29".)
  11. Circumference of calf: Around your lower leg at the most muscular, widest part. (Average 15".)
  12. Knee to ankle: From the bottom of your kneecap to your anklebone. (Average about 15".)


Measurements - Back

  1. Armhole circumference: A loop from the top of your shoulder, around under your armpit and back to the starting point. This measurement is for your armhole so make sure it is roomy enough to be comfortable. Do not pull the tape measure too tight into the armpit nor allow it to hang too low. If in doubt, measure around the shoulder seam of your favorite shirt. (Average 21" - 23".)
  2. Shoulder, point to point: A straight line from the knob of bone on the end of your shoulder across your back to knob of bone on the end of the other shoulder. (Average about 17" for men, 16" for women.)
  3. Underarm to underarm: From the center of one armpit to the center of the other. (Average 20" to 23".)
  4. Chest circumference: Completely around your upper body, at the widest point of the bustline. (Average 38" to 42".)
  5. Waist circumference: Around the beltline undressed. (Average varies widely.)
  6. Hip circumference: All the way around at the widest point of your behind. (No average.)
  7. Waist to crotch: From the beltline at your backbone to the center point between your legs. (Average 13" - 14".)
  8. Wrist circumference: Completely around your wrist just above your hand. (Average 6" - 7".)
  9. Thigh circumference: Around your upper leg, halfway between your hip and your knee. (Average 16" to 20".)
  10. Inseam length: Up tight in the crotch, in the center between your legs, straight down the inside of your leg to even with the top of your foot. (Average 29" to 32".)
  11. Outseam from the waist (beltline) straight down the outside of the leg even with the top of the foot. This number should be 10" more than your inseam. (Average 39" to 42".)


Fitting Sheets

Measurementfront.JPG (69710 bytes) Measurementback.JPG (57243 bytes)

To use these fitting sheets. Click on the thumbnails and save the full size picture to your computer. You can then print them up as a reference to use while taking the measurements.

Please keep in mind that the individual cost of any shirt is dependent on the amount of additional style element such as fringe, beading, other trim.
Feel free to contact us at
yatahai@yatahai.com or phone us at 253-926-1200 for specific details.

Many of the names we have chosen for the shirts are based on the individual we first created the particular shirt for. The basic styles are derived from historical data from many sources.