Straight Razor Stropping 101: Types of Strops

Stropping is the process of maintaining a razor blade, with a threefold objective of cleaning, undoing damage caused by shaving, and realigning the razor’s edge. Every time you shave, the razor blade suffers from microchips and rust. In order to keep the blade sharp and in good working order, you must consistently strop before you set blade to skin.

The material of the strop is just as essential as a solid stropping method. And when it comes to material, preference is the ultimate determinant. As with mattress firmness or the rigidity of a car’s suspension, each person has a different taste for strop material – some like it hard, others like it soft, while there are many who fall somewhere in between.

If you’re stumped about which strop to get, check out our primer on strop materials and their particularities.

Cowhide

Russian:

Cowhide made using Russian tanning methods. It has an agreeable draw that is preferred by many shavers today.

30 Degree Russian Red Leather Strop

30 Degree Russian Red Leather Strop

Latigo:

Cattle hide tanned with alum and gambier. Durable and supple, it has a greater draw than English bridle leather.

30 Degree Thin Latigo Natural Leather Strop

30 Degree Thin Latigo Natural Leather Strop

English Bridle:

Vegetable-tanned leather that is smooth and firm. A large grain pattern gives English bridle strops considerable draw.

Bison English Bridle Razor Strop in Black

Bison English Bridle Razor Strop in Black, available at Bisonmade.com

Horsehide

Natural Horsehide:

Vegetable-tanned leather from the sides of horses that has been used for stropping for over 100 years. Natural horsehide is supple but requires a relatively longer break-in period than cowhide. Horsehide has a smaller grain pattern than latigo leather and provides a medium draw.

30 Degree Horsehide Leather Strop with Handle

30 Degree Horsehide Leather Strop with Handle

Genuine Cordovan Shell:

Leather from the membrane found under the skin of a horse’s rear. Difficult sourcing and an intensive tanning process make genuine cordovan shell very expensive – albeit well worth the investment.

Bison Maroon Shell Cordovan Leather Sharpening Strop

Bison Maroon Shell Cordovan Leather Sharpening Strop, available at Bisonmade.com

Ready to make your pick? Check out RoyalShave’s extensive collection of high-quality leather strops here.

Interview: Captain Fawcett

captain-fawcett

Known as “The Gentleman’s Stiffener” Captain Fawcett is the home to a range of Gentlemen’s grooming products. The products range from Beard oil, mustache wax, shaving soap, shaving brushes, safety razors and so on. This all started back in 1997 when an old trunk was purchased from a house clearance and taken home. Discovering that this belonged to Captain Peabody Fawcett R.N Ret’d, the Edwardian Explorer it was forced open and among the contents inside were oils and ointments and an old journal containing detailed lists of exotic ingredients. Taking on the responsibility of carrying out the legendary “keep a stiffer upper lip regardless” the formulae have been faithfully followed and are now available to Gentleman all over the world.

We have a privilege to interview the man behind the discovery of Captain Fawcett’s. Read more to see what he has to say.

 Where are you located?

The dear Captain is based in Norfolk & Good Blighty.

When did you start this business?

Circa 1905

When did you realize you wanted to be a barber?

I am not currently a barber but a purveyor of First Class Gentlemen’s Grooming Requisites.

Describe a few steps you took to pursuit this.

As an Edwardian explorer of some repute I believe it is imperative to present stiff upper lip regardless of whatever the day may present.

How would you deal with a customer who didn’t know what they wanted?

Refer them to their commanding officer.

What are some of your accomplishments?

AS a manufacturer of the world’s best moustache wax I am proud to have aided in the ennobling of many an upper lip.

Who are some of your favorite barbers?

Sweeny Todd

What do you believe makes a quality hairstyle, cut and groom?

Whatever your chosen image, be it a Scumbag, Young Fogey, Rockabilly or Lounge Lizard be sure to cut a dash.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Plant hunters and Explorers of yesteryear.

What advice do you have for aspiring Mustache growers?

Let it grow, Let it grow, Let it grow!

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

Captain Fawcett is hugely popular on; (these will all be Links)

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

captainfawcettmustachewax

 

Buy here: http://bit.ly/1y4XV4W

Untitled-1

%d bloggers like this: