The Taylor Tailors – Leather Legends | TheFencePost.com

The Taylor Tailors – Leather Legends

Quackgrass Sally
Ranch Wife & Trail Gal

On a quiet street in Fromberg, Mont., nestled next to the little local Post Office, is a unique, family run custom leather western shop, Leather Legends. I was amazed as I stepped through the narrow glass door and saw every wall of this petite store, hung in an array of colorful chaps. Owner, Marge Taylor, waved from her back workshop, setting aside some leather project she was sewing on to walk out and welcome me. It didn’t take long for Marge to share with me her passion for creating “Wearable Art.” I learned that she not only made chaps but also designer leather attire for men and ladies.

“I guess I’ve been a seamstress all my life, first marketing my saddle-pant patterns after moving from the ranch where I was raised. I used to hand-make each paper pattern, which was a lot of work. The one year I did 600 pairs helped me decide to start sewing my own creations. It’s taken me years to get to where I am today and I’ve met some interesting people along the way.”

She showed me some framed black and white photographs of men on bucking stock hanging up on one wall. They are rodeo shots of rugged determined men.

“A few rodeo stars like Bill Smith, Winston Bruce, Jim Houston, and Scott Breding have worn chaps I’ve made.”

I asked about a pair of brown hair-on angora Bat-wing chaps on the wall. On tan leather beside the fuzzy hair is a mounted cowboy swinging a rope and famous brands in various colors inlaid up the left leg. The right side has an Indian on horseback, with bow and arrow drawn and several Native American symbols inlaid up the leg. Marge says it’s her favorite pair and it won “Best Adaption of Materials” award at the Cody Wyoming High Style Show.

This is a family business and her daughter Tammy became a major part in 1993, designing and creating all types of leather apparel. Most of the grand-kids have worked in the shop during their school years, winning several 4-H Fair awards. Marge proudly points out a beautiful pair of chaps displayed that feature an intricate totem pole and whale design.

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“My grandson Dash did those and my other grandson Ty completely laced them in black kangaroo! They are pretty unique and extravagant but I love them.”

Great care and pride is stitched into every piece and all types of leather are used, including elk, deer, and top-grain. Shearling jackets, pipe-bone and beaded skirt and jacket sets, riding ensembles and buckskin clothing fill the hand-made wrought-iron racks. Leather photo album covers and ornately made leather pillows accent the displays.

“We love to create something special for each person, even if it is taking Grandma’s fur coat or cape and making it into a lovely lap throw.”

I am not surprised that word has gotten around about the talent of these two ladies. Marge and Tammy made the brown chaps for the film “Horse Whisperer,” featuring inset horse-hair, tooled belt and twisted fringe down both legs. They’ve created one-of-a-kind chaps and outfits for Miss Rodeos of Montana, Georgia, Wyoming, Colorado, and for several queens of the Red Lodge Home of Champions Rodeo. Marge was “Designer of the Year” award winner in 2000 at Cody High Style, with her red angora bat-wing wooly chaps, featuring black overlay and white/yellow/black underlay.

“We make all types of chaps, custom for every different need. Shiny chrome-suede leather is always a favorite. It’s pretty flashy looking on a pair of bull or bronc riding chaps!”

They don’t just make rodeo stuff either. Everything from biker chaps, English ride, hairy woolies, and chinks are assembled in the back sewing room.

Marge explained, “Chinks are cooler to wear and nicer in warm weather. They are only half length chaps, stopping just below the knee with long fringe at the bottom. Lots of the ranchers in our valley work in a pair made right here on my sewing work bench.”

Sitting on the table by the cash register is a lovely bound book, her stores’ name embossed on the cover, Leather Legends. Its pages are filled with photographs of beautiful leather clothing created by Marge and Tammy over the years. Fashion-show snap-shots show Marge’s friends as the models, walking the run-ways in twisted-fringed and beaded dresses or buckskin jackets. Chaps of all styles, colors, and designs grace the pages.

“And I still enjoy making my split-riding skirts and saddle pants … but I don’t miss cutting out all those paper patterns!”

Regal and fun, flamboyant and rugged, stylish and useable … Wearable Art indeed! All created right here in this shop along River Street by a quiet team of ladies and their family, the Taylor Tailors.

On a quiet street in Fromberg, Mont., nestled next to the little local Post Office, is a unique, family run custom leather western shop, Leather Legends. I was amazed as I stepped through the narrow glass door and saw every wall of this petite store, hung in an array of colorful chaps. Owner, Marge Taylor, waved from her back workshop, setting aside some leather project she was sewing on to walk out and welcome me. It didn’t take long for Marge to share with me her passion for creating “Wearable Art.” I learned that she not only made chaps but also designer leather attire for men and ladies.

“I guess I’ve been a seamstress all my life, first marketing my saddle-pant patterns after moving from the ranch where I was raised. I used to hand-make each paper pattern, which was a lot of work. The one year I did 600 pairs helped me decide to start sewing my own creations. It’s taken me years to get to where I am today and I’ve met some interesting people along the way.”

She showed me some framed black and white photographs of men on bucking stock hanging up on one wall. They are rodeo shots of rugged determined men.

“A few rodeo stars like Bill Smith, Winston Bruce, Jim Houston, and Scott Breding have worn chaps I’ve made.”

I asked about a pair of brown hair-on angora Bat-wing chaps on the wall. On tan leather beside the fuzzy hair is a mounted cowboy swinging a rope and famous brands in various colors inlaid up the left leg. The right side has an Indian on horseback, with bow and arrow drawn and several Native American symbols inlaid up the leg. Marge says it’s her favorite pair and it won “Best Adaption of Materials” award at the Cody Wyoming High Style Show.

This is a family business and her daughter Tammy became a major part in 1993, designing and creating all types of leather apparel. Most of the grand-kids have worked in the shop during their school years, winning several 4-H Fair awards. Marge proudly points out a beautiful pair of chaps displayed that feature an intricate totem pole and whale design.

“My grandson Dash did those and my other grandson Ty completely laced them in black kangaroo! They are pretty unique and extravagant but I love them.”

Great care and pride is stitched into every piece and all types of leather are used, including elk, deer, and top-grain. Shearling jackets, pipe-bone and beaded skirt and jacket sets, riding ensembles and buckskin clothing fill the hand-made wrought-iron racks. Leather photo album covers and ornately made leather pillows accent the displays.

“We love to create something special for each person, even if it is taking Grandma’s fur coat or cape and making it into a lovely lap throw.”

I am not surprised that word has gotten around about the talent of these two ladies. Marge and Tammy made the brown chaps for the film “Horse Whisperer,” featuring inset horse-hair, tooled belt and twisted fringe down both legs. They’ve created one-of-a-kind chaps and outfits for Miss Rodeos of Montana, Georgia, Wyoming, Colorado, and for several queens of the Red Lodge Home of Champions Rodeo. Marge was “Designer of the Year” award winner in 2000 at Cody High Style, with her red angora bat-wing wooly chaps, featuring black overlay and white/yellow/black underlay.

“We make all types of chaps, custom for every different need. Shiny chrome-suede leather is always a favorite. It’s pretty flashy looking on a pair of bull or bronc riding chaps!”

They don’t just make rodeo stuff either. Everything from biker chaps, English ride, hairy woolies, and chinks are assembled in the back sewing room.

Marge explained, “Chinks are cooler to wear and nicer in warm weather. They are only half length chaps, stopping just below the knee with long fringe at the bottom. Lots of the ranchers in our valley work in a pair made right here on my sewing work bench.”

Sitting on the table by the cash register is a lovely bound book, her stores’ name embossed on the cover, Leather Legends. Its pages are filled with photographs of beautiful leather clothing created by Marge and Tammy over the years. Fashion-show snap-shots show Marge’s friends as the models, walking the run-ways in twisted-fringed and beaded dresses or buckskin jackets. Chaps of all styles, colors, and designs grace the pages.

“And I still enjoy making my split-riding skirts and saddle pants … but I don’t miss cutting out all those paper patterns!”

Regal and fun, flamboyant and rugged, stylish and useable … Wearable Art indeed! All created right here in this shop along River Street by a quiet team of ladies and their family, the Taylor Tailors.