Professional Whip Artistry Training & Entertainment

Professional Whip Artistry Training & Entertainment


The Whip Artistry Studio’s take on whip care and maintenance

Here at the studio we often get questions about the care and maintenance of whips. So, here is how we do it, although, except for some common sense items, a great deal of whip care is personal preference. Keep in mind, this information is going to focus primarily on kangaroo hide bullwhips and stockwhips, but also holds true for cowhide.

First, some common sense. 

As with any expensive tool, proper care is vital. Mostly that requires some common sense and awareness of the materials involved in making a whip and how it’s used by the handler.

If you’re using your whips daily, more care will be required. For those worked less often, not as much maintenance is needed. But here are some things everyone should be doing.

Keep your whips dry and clean. Never let a whip get saturated with water or submerged in any liquid or oil. The braided leather bellies of a roo whip can act like a wick, drawing moisture into the center where it remains, unable to evaporate, and eventually cause the leather to mildew and rot.

Conditioning the whip.

Conditioning is probably the most debated part of whip maintenance. How often do you do it? What should you use? What methods are recommended? Well, we’ve seen and heard it all at The Whip Artistry Studio, but here is our recommendation.

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Pecard leather dressing is a popular choice. https://www.pecard.com/product/classic-leather-dressing/

Studio director Gery Deer has used Fiebing's Aussie Conditioner for more than 25 years. http://www.fiebing.com/catalogue/conditioners-cleaners/?product=114

Studio director Gery Deer has used Fiebing’s Aussie Conditioner for more than 25 years.
http://www.fiebing.com/catalogue/conditioners-cleaners/?product=114

Step one: After every use, always wipe the whip clean of debris with a dry, cotton cloth. Avoid terrycloth, however, as the “pilling” gets caught in the laces and can work its way under them causing the braid to loosen. A white, cotton t-shirt is recommended. Wipe the whip from the handle out as seen below …

Step two: Apply some liquid (glycerine based is fine) saddle soap to a cloth or (very) soft brush and clean any excessively dirty areas of the braid. Do not apply the soap to the whip, however, you could over-saturate it. Put it on the cloth or brush and gently scrub the affected area. This is also the best way to clean excessive dirt from the fall, which is especially important since it takes most of the punishment from the environment and the ground.

Step three: Once the whip has been cleaned of excess dirt and debris, apply a small amount of conditioner to a separate cotton cloth (or you can apply it by hand). Regardless of what brand you choose, it takes very little to properly condition the whip. You don’t need to soak it.

You also need to be careful that excess conditioner is wiped clean from the whip. Over-conditioning can actually cause the leather to become too soft so it will scratch and break easily. That softness also leads to loosening of the laces, allowing dirt and debris to work its way underneath and damage the whip from within.

 

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