2. Roll one end three times. (If you are using a thicker leather, rolling it twice will be enough) Using a marker, mark across the roll. This will be where you punch your holes.3. Unroll the jess and transfer the marks from the side to the middle of the jess. Using a large hole punch, punch at these points. Be careful not to go to large, It will make the leather weak at the sides.
4. Taper the other end to a point.
5. Use a generous amount of jess grease on the leather to make it slip through the holes easier. Re-roll the jess and align the holes. Using a pair of forceps or needle nose pliers, insert through the holes and grab the other end of the jess. Carefully work the end through all the holes and pull the end through until the knot is tight. It might take a bit of work and you might need to add more jesse grease.
6. Using your swivel, mark the length of the slit at the other end. Use the smallest hole on your hole punch and punch a hole at both ends of this mark. With an exacto knife, cut the slit from hole to hole. The tiny holes at the ends of the slit prevent the leather from tearing.
This will make a pair of jesses 9″ long.
If you are making flying jesses simply eliminate the slit at the end.
Parachute cord jesses
Cut two pieces 18″ long. Remove all but one of the inner cords. If you accidentally remove them all, don’t worry, it’s pretty easy to thread one back in. With a hot exacto blade, melt the ends to prevent any fraying. Be careful not to melt the ends shut.
Make two marks measuring 10″ and 10 1/2″ from one end. (Fig 1.) With a hot blade, cut a slit between the marks. The hot blade melts the edges to prevent fraying.
Pull the small inner cord up through the slit, leaving it inside the short end. Tie this to the long end very tightly. Now, this is the only tricky part, pull the cord through and work the end into the slit and out the other end (Fig 2.) This takes some work as the end does not want to thread into the slit easily.
Once you work it through, even up the ends. (Fig 3.)
Tie a knot at the end and melt it together. Cut a button from a thick piece of leather and slide it on up to the knot (Fig. 4). The size of the button depends on the size of the grommet you are using on the anklets. This is an extra precaution to prevent the knot from working its way through the grommet.
Parachute jesses are extremely strong, yet very light. They can be used for the smallest bird up to the largest red-tail. They don’t become hard and brittle like leather and they can be washed. They are so cheap to make you can have several extra pair on hand.
This is a buttonless style jess.
2. Even the ends and find the center. Back up 1″ and braid using the 4 strand round braid for 2″.
3. Double the braid and pair up the strands making 4 double strands. Braid the first 3 or 4 times as tightly as you can. After this braid with a relaxed hand for a more flexible braid.
4. Continue braiding with the 4 strand round braid for 71/2″ – 8″.
5. Separate the strand into two bundles of 4.
6. Braid each bundle to 1 1/2″
7. Bring the strands back together again and again pair up for 4 double strands.
8. Braid for 1″. Start dropping one single strand at a time like you did for the tapered end of the leash. When you are down to 4 single strands, braid a few more times and then cut the ends even and melt. Go back and cut the loose ends and melt them into the jess.
What you end up with is a loop at each end. One end has a small tab. This end goes through the grommet on the anklet. The tab will help you grab it when you want to remove the jesses. The other end then goes through this loop like the leash. The loop at the other end (without the tab) then goes through the swivel.
Jesse grease is used to keep everything leather soft and subtle. I’ve even put it on my braided leashes and flying jesses to keep them a bit more waterproof. You can, of course buy jesse grease online, but for the same amount of money, you can make enough to last you several years.
1 ounce of beeswax
1 1/2 ounce of paraffin wax
10 ounces of mineral oil
The wax can be found in many craft stores.
Cut the beeswax and paraffin wax into smaller pieces and put into a GLASS jar. Melt the wax in the microwave, giving it a stir every now and again. Never use anything else but glass. The wax gets so hot, it will melt just about anything else. Use a jar with a large lid and you can store the jesse grease in this.
When all the wax is melted (it will take some time) add the mineral oil and mix well.
To use this grease, simply dip your fingers into it and smear on the leather. You don’t have to heat it back up to use. Rub into the leather well and use a paper towel to wipe off any excess. Any you have on your hand can be rubbed into your hands just like a hand moisturizer.
Thank you to: Kathie Miller