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Australian Plaiters & Whipmakers Association

July 21, 2009

How do you plait or braid a whip?   How is a whip constructed?  How long should the belly be, how many plait should it be, and how many should there be?  What do you use for binding on a whip?  How do you drop strands?APWA Logo

Whipmakers from all over the world, from amateurs to seasoned professionals, belong to the Australian Plaiters & Whipmakers Association.  This is only a link to the forum where the majority of the forum topics are open for the public to read if you’d like to go browse, but becoming a member also opens your door to even more information.  Questions about making whips are answered there that you’d never even thought to ask – it’s an amazing group of people.

Membership for non-Australians is $55 (Australian dollars) per year and opens up all of the closed sections of the forum, allows you to post your own whipmaking related questions and have them potentially answered by some of the greatest whipmakers alive today, and the membership fee sends you (via airmail) hardcopies of quarterly APWA Journals which include articles written by whipmakers and plaiters from around the world.  These journals are not available online anywhere, and your membership also gives you the ability to purchase previous journals all the way back to the APWA’s inception in 1985.

If you are a whipmaker or are an aspiring whipmaker, there is no forum or association better to belong to in existence today.  The incredible depth of topics and the tutorials published and discussed in both the forum and in the journals sent to members only never cease to amaze me.  If you really want to learn whipmaking, a membership to the Australian Plaiters and Whipmakers Association is worth every penny, in my opinion.

A special disclaimer:  It is true that many, if not most, of the world’s premier whipmakers today belong to this association.  However, dozens of hopefuls and amateurs and hobbyists also belong to it as well.  If you see the APWA logo displayed on a whipmaker’s website or banner or businesscard, that in no way implies that the APWA endorses the quality or craftsmanship of that whipmaker’s work.  Literally anyone interested in whips or plaiting can join the Australian Plaiters & Whipmakers Association – you can too! – all you have to do is send them your $55 AU for the year and your mailing address.

PS: If you are in the US and looking for a somewhat more local place to buy whipmaking supplies than Australia, check out the MidWestWhips website.  Vegetable tanned and drum stuffed kangaroo hides, cutters (including the Dene Williams cutter), and even more that’s not yet been listed on the site are usually available and in stock (send an email to whipmaker@midwestwhips.com if you’re looking for something not listed on the site yet).

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